The men’s tennis team has an abundance of expectations but a limited number of players.
Six Fighting Bees represent the St. Ambrose tennis team. A tennis match is comprised of six individual games, so SAU has enough players to be competitive every match. Santiago Gonzalez is one of the two seniors on the team. He believes a smaller team has its advantages and disadvantages.
“The good thing is that you get really close to your teammates and you get to know them really well on and off the court,” Gonzalez said. “The bad thing is that we have no room for injuries because the team score is directly affected if someone can’t play.”
Even though tennis is an individual sport, Gonzalez wants to contribute to the team in every way he can. He knows his play affects the rest of the team and he doesn’t want to let his teammates down.
“I am very competitive,” Gonzalez said. “When I go on the court the only thing on my mind is to do my part so the team has a better chance of winning.”
Although Gonzalez doesn’t see himself as a leader on the court, the younger players think he is a good example for them to follow.
Sophomore Sam O’Donnell is in his first year with the tennis team. He is thankful for Gonzalez and the Fighting Bee veterans.
“As an underclassmen I’ve quickly found that there’s a lot of great competition out there,” O’Donnell said. “Fortunately for me, the upperclassmen and leaders of this team push me. They provide knowledge from their experiences on how to better my game.”
The small team doesn’t affect O’Donnell’s outlook on the season. He enjoys forging friendships with his teammates and he wants the team to be the best it can be.
“I’ve had the opportunity to meet a new group of guys that I’m proud to call my team,” O’Donnell said. “Every day is an opportunity to improve and we’ll continue to push each other en route to reaching our full potential.”