Tennis tryouts bring art of team back to hard court

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By Jeff Reese

The college intramural tennis team started its rebuilding with the first of two tryout sessions Jan. 23. The team also has a new coach, Rodney Muñoz, who previously coached at Texas Lutheran University.

The tryouts brought Muñoz an unexpected turnout of hopefuls.

“I was only expecting to see six or seven players come out, and we ended up with 10 to 12 people. The players have a lot of talent as well, and we’re looking forward to playing,” Muñoz said.

Psychology freshman Maria Cano played at Health Careers High School, where she was part of a team that won district all four years she played.

“I want to get back into the competition, get back to playing the matches and improve my serve,” Cano said.

Sports science sophomore Eddie Jalomo, who served as captain of the MacArthur High School team through 2005, looks forward to getting back into team play as opposed to individual matches.

“It will be good to be on a team again. It’s something I miss from high school, and I want to get back that unity. 

I’ve been playing in local tournaments, and I can go back to being competitive again,” Jalomo said.

Muñoz shared the same feelings as Jalomo of reaching another level of competition.

“We will be able to get the experience of tournament play. We can get full-fledged tennis and not just intramural,” Muñoz said.

Jalomo brings nine years of tennis experience as well as four years of coaching. He spoke of the benefits that come from coaching.

“It’s good because when you’re working with one of the kids, you can see the face they make when they finally get that shot; it gives me a feeling of accomplishment,” Jalomo said.

While players gear toward competition, Muñoz noted the off-court benefits of the game.

“It gives the players an opportunity to get their minds off class; it gives them a stress-reliever,” Muñoz said.

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