Women’s Tennis Prepares for Spring Season Amid Pandemic

Women’s Tennis is back at Baldwin Wallace with the first game being a win and a score of 9-0, defeating Mount Union. The team didn’t have a fall season this year because of the pandemic, and it has been more than a year since the last matchup. COVID-19 has changed how the team has prepared for the season, but this season will go on as scheduled.

The women’s tennis team typically begins preparing for the season in January, but had to wait until March 10 this year. There will only be seven matches this semester, which is the same they played last year during the Spring 2020 season before COVID-19 cut it short from the planned 17 matches.

This will be the first time matches are held for the 2020-2021 academic year as the fall matches were canceled. Head Coach, Dean Morse, has had a new experience this season with COVID-19 protocols. Morse said, “It was pretty different. I have the most freshman I’ve had since I started three years ago, and I normally use the fall as a good experience for the new players getting into college.”

Every season in any sport has its challenges. The pandemic brought on new challenges, “the length of the season is the biggest challenge for us. There aren’t as many matches, only seven and the team might be a little rusty,” said Morse. The season length being cut short is due to conference only matches for the Spring 2021 season.

Many of the players have been affected by the pandemic as well. “We take bonding very seriously and the tennis team we want to make the freshman feel welcomed. This is like a second family on campus so we always made team bonding a priority. Unfortunately because of COVID violations this wasn’t available to us so we decided to stay in touch over the phone,” said Jayde Robinson.

Robinson is a senior on the team and this will be her last season as a Yellow Jacket. “This season means everything and I’m understanding that I just need to have fun and not focus on the things that COVID-19 took away my senior year. I’m excited to start playing matches again! The team looks really good this semester and I’m so excited to see what will accomplish this season,” said Robinson.

Social distancing and masks have still been in place for this team. Tennis is a sport where the players are spaced out at a good distance. The team has been participating in BW Be Safe protocols and getting tested randomly for COVID-19.

There are five new freshman players on the team this year. Kerrigan Ponsart, a freshman on the team, said, “I’m excited to play with my teammates and get back to the sport I love.” Another freshman new to the team, Juliet Penrod, said, “I’m super excited! Everyone has worked so hard this year and I’m grateful that we’re able to play some matches.”

The women’s tennis team has been practicing since March 10 in preparation for the season. Morse said, “We have had to adapt to the new changes, so I have learned to fly by the seat of my pants and change things at the last minute.” Morse also said that there have been some practices canceled by cold weather or high winds.

BW Women’s Tennis will be hosting four home games and be attending three away games this season. The next game is Saturday, April 10. You can visit https://www.bwyellowjackets.com/landing/index for a full look at the schedule for this season.