Before their April 13th matchup against Monmouth, the Jaspers honored seniors Caitlin Bricketto and Alyssa Rosello. Both players went on to earn wins in their single matches. They notched Manhattan’s two points in their 5-2 loss to the Hawks.
Looking back at the past four years, Rosello and Bricketto recall the obstacles that they have overcome with the team. One major factor is the team’s consistent theme of a small roster. In previous years, the team just hit the average roster size of eight players. However, it has been decreasing each year and in this current season, they only have five active players. Another factor was getting a new coach last season, which helped their program change for the better.
“Getting new coaching was a major change,” Rosello said. “It brought our team to a whole different level.”
Head coach Amanda McEntire is currently in her second year with the team. While the roster size is still a factor in their matches, the team has been improving greatly over the last two years. Last season, their first under Coach McEntire, they placed sixth in the conference and qualified for the playoffs. While this achievement didn’t happen as they had hoped again this season, they continue to be improving together as a team.
“We are together 24/7,” Bricketto said. “We’ve become so strong together as a team. We’ve never really had that before but we have come together and support each other so much this season.”
Rosello added by stressing the fact that the team is always supportive of one another and that they keep positive attitudes.
Another aspect of their team that has been important to these two seniors is their level of play. The program has changed over the years along with them. It has improved to a real division one program, which means workouts, practicing everyday, having a home court and a team trainer.
“We weren’t really a division one program if you look back at our freshman and sophomore years,” Bricketto said. “It is things that normal division one teams do that we were not doing, but now we are. It is 100% a step up in the program.”
One obstacle that the team has overcome in the last few years has been their court access. With no tennis court located on campus, the team would have to always travel to a match or even just for practice. They used to play across the street in Van Cortlandt Park. However, they were not guaranteed courts there.
Now, they travel to Queens and play at the United States Tennis Association Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Or, they go to Horace Mann and use their court. However, they have had only three matches at these locations, which means that they have spent most of their season traveling to other teams’ home courts.
Both Rosello and Bricketto said that they hope for more players to join and that the team can get more home matches in the coming future. Their game at Horace Mann was the first time the team had ever played there. Only having one home game does not bring a lot of support from the school and they wish that will improve for future members of their team.
“I hope that tennis will become more of a sport on campus,” Bricketto said. “The girls who put all their time and effort into it deserve the support.”