Women’s tennis starts season strong

The women’s tennis team started its spring season with a 9-0 win over IU Southeast this past Friday.

Junior Kelsey Shipman said the match was a good one to start the season and allow the team to figure out being mentally prepared.

Shipman and her doubles partner Kymberly Brannon earned an 8-1 win in number one doubles to help lead the team toward its win.

Brannon, a senior, and Shipman are  co-captains this year, something Shipman takes seriously.

She moved from tertiary captain to secondary captain and now to co-captain this year.

“As a leader you just have to be a positive role model and always be ready to play and have a good attitude,” Shipman said. “…I want to be the person that makes everyone the best they can be.”

Shipman said she hopes when players who are playing in the fifth or sixth spot of the lineup see her giving it her all, it reminds them to do the same.

Head coach Keely Porter said Brannon is an inspiring and motivating leader.

“She’s done a great job,” Porter said. “The team voted Kelsey as co-captain. She just leads by example. She continually does the right thing.”

Porter said the other senior on the team, Brenna Wu is playing some of the best tennis of her career.

Wu partnered with freshman Lauren Hambrock at the number two doubles spot for the first match of the season. They won their match 8-0.

Porter said both Hambrock and fellow freshman Alex Jamison are fitting in with the team quite well.

She said the change from high school tennis to collegiate tennis is quite drastic, something Shipman agreed with.

“[In collegiate tennis] it’s all about mixing it up,” Shipman said, “not necessarily who can hit it hardest.”

Shipman said both Jamison and Hambrock have become more comfortable and experienced since the start of the fall season.

“They are going to improve and that will help us immensely,” Shipman said.

She said when Coach Porter finds the set order for the season the team will be successful.

“I think we are going to come out on top,” she said.

The team will face Lindenwood University next, followed by Division I University of Evansville.