The California State University, Stanislaus', (Stan State), Women's Tennis team has made their name known within the collegiate league, having made appearances to the conference playoffs the previous season and by grinding out tough wins against quality teams.
The team has been forced to undergo numerous changes to their roster through the departure of experienced players to transfer or graduate. As a result, the team is shorthanded and must find ways to compete with new additions and substantial subtractions.
"We lost one of our transfer students from the fall to the spring and another player didn’t come back after the second semester. So we have actually changed a lot but weve been doing really well," Head Coach Varek Visaraga said.
Despite the myriad of transitions and a short window to adapt to them, the team has made no excuses and has instead seized the opportunity to learn, grow and most importantly: win.
"We started out 50th in the country and we’ve moved up to 49 and we’re 10 in the region. Our doubles team just upset San Diego’s top team," Coach Varek said.
All of this has been accomplished early on in the season despite little room for error.
Cassidy Ferrell (sophomore, Liberal Studies) who was recently named the Women's Tennis player of the week.
"No one can get hurt on our team since we only have six players... It will be a challenge to not let go of any matches, keep our mental and physical toughness," Ferrel said.
One half of the Warrior's top doubles team, Jaella Conway (senior, Human Services), echoed her coach in saying "coming in we had a few setbacks in terms of team members leaving".
"So I think where we’re at is better than we were expecting and better what the school expected, especially us as doubles, so we’re really happy about that."
Each player on the team is as committed to improving their game on the court as much as to improving the community around them.
Coach Varek emphasizes the importance of improving the community as well as improving character.
"A lot of people don’t see how much we’ve done through community service with local high schools, helping them with their fundraisers and we just came back from Dodge Ridge helping the society for disabilities and we’re working on feeding the homeless in the next coming months," Coach Varek said.
"That’s not something you see from us, you know, teaching these girls to think less of themselves and what they can do for others."
The Women's Tennis team is succeeding despite the odds without excuses all while never losing sight of important matters off the court, in the classroom and around the community.
The next home game is on April 15 at noon against the Dominican University of California.