Tennis players prepare for spring

The Alabama men’s tennis team continues its fall season in the ITA Fall Championships in Tulsa, Okla. With another fall tournament for the Crimson Tide comes another opportunity to compete and improve its game.

“We have played a few fall tournaments already, and that has been a good experience,” freshman Nikko Madregallejo said. “We have been working hard, and practices have gone really well.”

Alabama is returning four members from last year’s team, which reached the NCAA Tournament. In addition to returning the four members, the Crimson Tide has added five new faces to the team, including four freshmen and a transfer.

With the heart of the tennis season coming in the spring semester, the fall semester allows new members of the team to get accustomed to their new surroundings. Junior Andrew Goodwin, who transferred from The University of Southern Mississippi, said it’s been nice to get comfortable with the University and the tennis program.

“I took classes here over the summer,” Goodwin said. “It’s been nice getting used to campus and classes. It’s also been good training with my new teammates and coaches.”

Madregallejo said the biggest thing he has noticed about college in the offseason has been the amount of free time.

“I have really enjoyed a lot of free time so far,” Madregallejo said. “In the spring we will be traveling a lot more, so we won’t be here as much, so I’m working hard and training hard.”

Whether it’s playing junior-level tennis or playing at another college, both Madregallejo and Goodwin said playing for the Crimson Tide has been a whole new experience for them.

“It’s been a little different from my old school,” Goodwin said, “but I’ve really enjoyed Alabama so far. We have been working hard as a team, and the fall season has been great.”

Madregallejo echoed the sentiment.

“College tennis is obviously much different because there is kind of a team atmosphere and you help each other get better,” Madregallejo said. “Game-wise, it’s different as well because everyone is bigger, stronger and hits the ball harder, so you have to step it up.”

Goodwin said the team has been playing tough all fall. He wants to see that same performance in the spring.

“We have been really working and preparing toward the spring,” Goodwin said. “We have been doing a good job of competing with everyone we have played and we need to carry that into the spring.”