By Kellie Lagoy
Adding new players and refining the skills of others can be just what a team needs to be successful. Those factors are exactly what both the men’s and women’s tennis programs at Virginia Wesleyan are trying to add.
The men’s team had a standout season last spring when it reached the conference finals. Led by head coach Darryl Cummings, this team went for an overall record of 15-5. Even more impressively, the team only fell twice in conference play during its regular season. Washington and Lee University was the culprit behind the two losses. The Generals would also be the reason the Marlins didn’t win a championship trophy at the end of the year.
On the other side, the women’s team didn’t perform as well as the men’s team. The Marlins were hard-pressed to find wins as they went 4-15 overall and 2-9 in the conference. Despite the valiant effort, the team just couldn’t seem to find the success it needed to get a berth in postseason play. Cummings plans to change that with a new season in front of him.
The former Division I coach has a vision for a successful women’s team and a championship men’s team. The addition of elite players and the consistency from others is more than likely going to be a game-changer for both programs.
“Everyone returned from last year for the women’s team, but our key recruit for the women’s is Jackie Lee. She played at [Frank W.] Cox High School, and they won a state championship last year. Anytime you’re adding someone off of a state championship team, that’s a good thing,” said Cummings.
Lee is the only freshman on the squad, and she will be mixed in with fellow underclassmen and just one upperclassman. Junior Mia Proctor is the oldest on the team, and her veteran presence is sure to give the rest of the team a boost. Lisa Nguyen, Sydney Charity, and Marisa Cifuentes are all returning sophomores.
Cummings is known for recruiting outside the country, and he has done so this year for the men’s tennis team.
“We just had a person join our team from Israel, Adam Rosemblaum. He is just starting his studies this semester,” Cummings said.
Rosemblaum is welcomed into an already solid group of men on the team. There will always be competition to grab one of the top six spots on the court, considering how large the men’s roster is becoming. The current count for the team is 12.