Double impact: Men’s and women’s tennis fight for victory against Young Harris

Double impact: Men’s and women’s tennis fight for victory against Young Harris

Photo courtesy of Devonaire Willoughby

Jesus Arce, Staff Writer

If you have ever had the opportunity to go to a North Greenville University tennis game, you know how talented and disciplined the team is on the tennis court. NGU men’s and women’s tennis is a representation of the hard work that coach Michelle Tease has instilled in her players.

This past April 15, some matches took place where players like Juan Arbelaez and Vitoria Maximiliano showed what they were capable of. Having some very close games, They got a win and a loss for the NGU team.

Arbelaez, originally from Cali, Colombia, took a great victory against Young Harris player Hemang Gaur. With a score of 6-3, 7-6. Demonstrating his resilience, he fought until the end to get the victory in a very close match.

According to Arbelaez, his personality and playing ethic are because he started playing at a very early age.

“I got introduced to a tennis court by my dad when I was little, maybe three or four years old. And since then, I haven’t stopped playing tennis,” Arbelaez said.

This influenced his decision to pursue his tennis career to the point where he decided to come to the United States as an NGU player. In his words, North Greenville has been a special place from the moment he first came here.

“When I came here, I felt like this was the place that I had to come. It’s a big family that we have as a team,” Arbelaez said.

All these factors have influenced Arbelaez’s play to bring a winning streak of back-to-back games in recent games, where there has certainly been an evolution since his first year at NGU.

“I won today. I feel like I played very well. I’ve been on a three or four match win streak,” Arbelaez said.

Maximiliano, a player on the women’s team, is a freshman originally from Brazil. Despite being a rookie this year, she has shown with personality what she is made of and battled in every game this season.

Maximiliano started her tennis career at an early age. The influence that her family had was undoubtedly key to her starting her career and deciding to come to America.

“My dad influenced me a lot when I was 12,” Maximiliano said.

Her game was a difficult one against Young Harris’ Luciana Bejarano. She got a loss with a score of 7-5, 6-3. According to her, it was a tough match for her.

“My sensation right now is that I’m kind of disappointed with myself because I want to win for my team,” she said.

Tease showed her pride in these players, commenting on how the team has come together in the face of adversity.

Tease said, “We have a really close team on and off the court. They support each other. They back each other. They want to win not just for themselves but for their team.”

The team has a very young roster, with freshmen and sophomores abound on the team. Tease concluded by saying that the future looks bright for NGU tennis.

“I think we have a really, really bright future with this group of guys and girls,” Tease said.

The team will continue to work to keep bringing home good results and creating competitive teams worthy of being champions someday.

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