Apr. 8—The hits really never stopped coming for Coastal Georgia tennis over the past year.
The COVID-19 pandemic wiped out a couple of promising seasons a year ago, and with uncertainty still surrounding this spring, the Mariners put together a condensed schedule that features just six matches from late February through early April.
Yet, even the shortened schedule sees Coastal’s mens and womens programs each face off against four programs in the thick of the top 25, each hailing from The Sun Conference.
On the men’s side, six of the eight TSC teams are either ranked or receiving votes, which includes Coastal Georgia, and on the women’s side, five of seven conference teams are represented in the national poll.
“The conference has improved a lot…” said Mariners tennis coach Zack Rogers. “We’ve really tried to put together a collective effort to really try to get more attention to the conference, and it’s worked, so the teams are getting more recognition, they’re getting more votes in the national polls, and the level is improving.
“Whereas in the last couple of years you could have an off week and still get a win against a pretty good team. Now, if you’re down a guy, you’re down a girl, you’re just a little bit off, the conference is just competitive enough to where you’re not going to get those wins unless you’re on top of your game.”
Coastal experienced the phenomenon first hand a couple of weeks ago when a freak injury to one of the Mariners’ top players caused him to miss a pair of weekend matches against No. 21 Southeastern and No. 24 Ave Maria, which each edged the Mariners 4-3. Now, both programs are ranked in the top 25, while Coastal has fallen into the receiving votes designation at 2-3 on the season.
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