TENNIS : Progression in doubles point of emphasis for Orange

first_img Published on February 15, 2012 at 12:00 pm In his six-year tenure at Syracuse, head coach Luke Jensen said he’s never seen his team play as badly as it did in doubles against Boston College last Saturday.‘We’re absolutely pathetic in doubles right now. I just don’t know what happened,’ Jensen said. ‘I couldn’t believe how poorly we played across the board. I see (improvement) in practice, but it’s not coming out in matches, and that really has to change or we’re going to be in trouble.’The Orange lost all three of its doubles matches in its victory over the Eagles, prompting the head coach to switch up his pairings for Sunday’s contest with Harvard. But SU turned in another poor performance — losing two of its three doubles matches — that forced the Orange to win four of the six singles matches in a second straight comeback victory.Syracuse (5-3, 2-1 Big East) will need an all around better effort in capturing doubles when it hosts Temple (0-3, 0-1 Atlantic-10) and Rutgers (3-1, 0-0 Big East) on Saturday and Sunday at Drumlins Tennis Center. If SU hopes to extend its three-match winning streak, the players must master Jensen’s aggressive volley style and build confidence with their doubles partners.But SU’s struggles haven’t been the result of poor team chemistry. Rather, Jensen said that with five new faces on the nine-player roster this season, the team is having difficulty playing the ‘serve and volley’ approach seen largely at the professional level.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text‘We run a very complex system in doubles,’ Jensen said. ‘There isn’t a place on the planet that teaches our style of serving.’In the system Jensen preaches, players move quickly to the net after hitting a serve in an attempt to catch the opponent off-balance. It requires an extreme amount of confidence and also a very aggressive skill set, something the Orange has lacked in its last two doubles competitions against ranked opponents.The approach is used by some of the most elite tennis players in the world. But the SU players have struggled to pick up the complex system, contributing to the lacking play last weekend. Now, Jensen just needs the Orange to carry that intensity from practice over to its weekend matches.Senior captain Emily Harman was first exposed to the aggressive serve and volley style as a high school tennis player, so she fit well into Jensen’s system. But Harman said that SU’s woes in the doubles competition this season have stemmed from its inexperience.‘It’s a system that a lot of these girls coming in have never run before in their lives,’ Harman said. ‘And to run it against skilled teams is very difficult. The fact that we are young is an issue we have to deal with moving forward.’Because of the complexity involved in the serve and volley, Jensen is having a hard time getting his players to smoothly transition from the practice courts to live situations. The team constantly practices on its form and delivery, but maintaining that pressure during a match is a difficult challenge.Freshman Amanda Rodgers was a part of the only doubles victory for the Orange this past weekend, but even she said it has taken her time to understand Jensen’s system inside and out.And it all starts with having a confident mindset.‘I just need to put everything together,’ Rodgers said. ‘Serving and volleying is about attitude. You have to walk up to the line and know you’re the more aggressive, the more intimidating player. If we do that, I feel like we will stick your volleys better.’Though Rodgers and her teammates are focused on improving their execution of the system, it’s going to take time before the doubles pairs are ready to compete at the highest level.And until then, the head coach knows his program won’t be able to accomplish its lofty goals this season.‘If we are going to accomplish what we really want to do — winning a Big East and a national title — we need to tighten up at doubles,’ Jensen said. ‘It’s a tough point to lose because you lose momentum and give the other team confidence. Fortunately, our singles did the job, but it is still very concerning from this side.’awmirmin@syr.edu—Staff Writer Jacob Klinger contributed reporting to this article.  Commentscenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Week in Sports: World Indoor Lacrosse Championship, LSU, naming 3 football players and more

first_imgWorld Indoor Lacrosse Championship plays out in DomeIt ended as it has the last three times, with Canada walking away from the WILC with the gold medal and the Iroquois taking home the silver. The United States routed Israel in the bronze medal game. You can read about the Syracuse lacrosse legend who brought the tournament to central New York here.Read all The Daily Orange’s coverage of the tournament.Logan Reidsma | Photo EditorSyracuse football falls to No. 8 Louisiana State, but makes it interestingSyracuse football was handed its first loss of the season by LSU and its impressive running back, Heisman-hopeful Leonard Fournette. Lots of LSU fans made the trip, and in the second half it seemed that Syracuse would have enough fight in it to send those fans home unhappy. But Fournette and the Tigers had too many punches for the Orange to withstand in the 34-24 loss.Read all The Daily Orange’s coverage of the game here.Scott Shafer hopes to have freshman quarterback Eric Dungey back this weekDungey, who missed the Louisiana State game after suffering an upper-body injury on a helmet-to-helmet hit on Sept. 19 against Central Michigan, is expected to be back at practice sometime this week, head coach Shafer said.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textMore: Scott Shafer hopes to have Eric Dungey back this weekSyracuse students try to name 3 football players, mostly failMore: Video: Can you name 3 Syracuse football players? Comments Published on September 28, 2015 at 11:50 am Contact Sam: sjfortie@syr.edu | @Sam4TR Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more