With the season coming to a close, the men’s tennis team hoped to make a run in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) playoffs, but unfortunately, the Rams’ 6-6 record could not get them there.
Although the winning percentage was not enough to give the Rams a shot at playoffs, it is the best record the team has seen since 2015, when the team went 6-3. The Rams’ three-win-streak come back toward the end of the season, beginning with Wheelock College on April 18, was seen as a major highlight this season, among other aspects.
“The high point of this season was improving our team record drastically,” said junior captain Rami Esrawi in an interview with The Suffolk Journal on Monday. “We also added key contributors to our team. Meeting new people and becoming closer with the guys is always special. Traveling all the way to Norwich [University] and crushing them was fantastic.”
In the preseason coaches’ poll, the Rams were predicted to place fourth in the GNAC North Division, behind Regis College, Johnson and Wales University and Norwich. With a conference record of 1-2, the Rams managed to notch third in the division, knocking Norwich to the fourth spot.
Losing key-conference matches against Regis and Johnson and Wales was the major part of what prevented the Rams from making a run at the playoffs.
According to sophomore Omar Azzaoui, the team goal was to become stronger and more unified this season. The team managed to do exactly that when adding key players to the team, such as Panama native Ariel Ilarslan Russo, while also beating across the Boston Common rivals, Emerson College.
“Although playoffs were out of our control, I believe as a team we came together more just from knowing one another for longer,” said Azzaoui in a recent interview with The Journal.
Even though the Rams were not able to reach the goal of attending the GNAC playoffs, they still managed to build overall as a team and exceed personal standards.
“We always set high goals with our team because if our goals are set low we will not go anywhere,” said Esrawi. “Higher goals make you work harder to accomplish them. In result we improved drastically.”
A standout for the Rams this season was freshman Russo who picked up three Corvias Rookie of the Week honors. As Suffolk’s ace, Russo managed to go undefeated in his first season with an 8-0 singles record.
As the men’s tennis teams season dwindles to an end, the Rams plan to utilize the offseason to an advantage by making necessary adjustments and personal preparations, such as working on forehand and backhand shots, improving footwork and polishing the game play as an entity.
“We’re not losing any seniors this year, so next season is about moving forward and pushing further in the conference,” said junior Charles Tang in an interview with The Journal on Tuesday.
The Rams will conclude this season as they serve their final match Thursday against Rhode Island College.