The Armtrong Pirates know how to win, and they have done so for quite some time. In 2016, the women's tennis program took home the D2 National Title for the 10th time in school history. And the men have their fair share of success stories as well.
Despite falling in the 2016 semi-finals of the National Championships, Armstrong have won three men's national titles. How does coach Sean McCaffrey prepare his teams for the 2016-2017 season after so many accomplishments have been achieved?
"We commit wholeheartedly at the beginning," McCaffrey said. "It won't be won now or even early spring. But we have to begin working toward [a national title] right now."
Fall training in Savannah is all about agility, flexibility, conditioning and even hand-eye coordination. Players work on their mechanics to get fit for individual fall tournaments and to ensure that they are match-ready for the first point of the spring season.
Photo Courtesy: Armstrong State Pirates Athletics
Armstrong's tennis program believe they can outlast their opponents and, thus, know how important training will be for their long-term success.
"Everyone knows what has to be done," McCaffrey said. "There's less competition in the fall and more physical training. Other teams know we are the fittest team in the nation. They can't outlast our players."
Even though the goal is to win a national title for both the men and the women, McCaffrey does not expect his players to suddenly change their serve or learn new doubles tactics after one fall practice. He knows that winning takes time and so does proper preparation.
"I just want them to be 1% better everyday," McCaffrey added. "100% better is not realistic."
With that, the Pirates have already begun training this fall season and have endured one tournament on the women's side and two on the men's side.
Junior Lena Lutzeier won bracket at the USC Upstate Fall Invitational in Spartanburg, South Carolina this past weekend.
For the men at the USC, Jan Porteset and Alberto Caceres Casas captured their doubles bracket for the men's team, and Alvaro Cruz Chamorro won his singles consolation bracket.
Both teams will travel to Sumter, S.C. this weekend for the ITA Southeast Regionals to showcase their efforts September 29th through October 3rd.
Like any competition, there's a reason the event takes place and isn't decided on paper. But one can bet Armstrong will be fit for play.
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