The Rhode Island women's tennis team has been one of the best in the country over the past decade and has taken home four consecutive Little East Conference titles. As of last week, the Anchorwomen boasted an undefeated record to start
The Rhode Island women’s tennis team has been one of the best in the country over the past decade and has taken home four consecutive Little East Conference titles.
As of last week, the Anchorwomen boasted an undefeated record to start the 2021 campaign and once again look poised to be a contender.
Leading the way for RIC is a trio of Cranston natives in senior Serena Bobola, junior Jenna Lisi and sophomore Lauren Macera.
“I think compared to last season, we were just really excited and pumped up to be back out there with a normal season. Being ranked No. 1 in the preseason poll hyped us and gave us the motivation to kick butt and take names. All of the girls are excited,” said Bobola, who is also excited to have gained an additional year of eligibility due to last year’s pandemic-shortened season. “I’m excited to finish this season and when I was told that I had another year of eligibility, I knew I was going to take that because this is the best group that we’ve had since I’ve been here. I’m excited to see where we can go this year and next year.”
Lisi has been the team’s top player since her freshman year and has been named the LEC’s Player of the Year for the past two years. She also recently received her second Jill Craybas Award, which is given to the state’s top female tennis player.
“I definitely feel comfortable and more confident in my game. I have definitely learned a lot since my freshman year and am smarter in my decision-making when I’m on the court. It’s something that I never take for granted, there are always new players coming in,” Lisi said. “You never know who is coming in from other schools so I don't take it for granted and I try to use it as motivation when preparing for who I am facing.”
Macera was the conference rookie of the year last season as well and have already seen some improvement in her second season in college.
“We had a shortened season and it was different, but Rhode Island College was one of the few schools that got to play so I was able to get some experience. I had a good year, I won (LEC) Rookie of the Year which has motivated me to work hard this summer. I’ve been working really hard and have moved up the ladder a bit. I’ve adjusted well,” Macera said.
Lisi and company are thrilled to be able to represent their home city and to show that Cranston develops top-notch athletes.
“It’s not something that you see every day. There are athletes throughout the state that shine in their respective sports but to see three of us be as accomplished as we have been, it’s a good showing on the hard work ethic that Cranston has to offer. We’re a close city, everyone knows everyone, and we just want to make the city proud,” Lisi said.
Macera also feels that the Rhode Island tennis community is on the up.
“I think it says a lot about the tennis culture in Rhode Island. Most schools recruit kids from down south because they can play tennis year-round, but more places in Rhode Island are providing opportunities to play indoors in the winter here and I feel that that is one component of how Rhode Island players are becoming really strong players. That has helped the entire state get better,” Macera said.
As RIC gets set for the second half of its regular season slate, the girls are looking forward to hitting the court together and making another push toward an LEC title.
“We’re looking to win another championship,” Bobola said. “It’s going to be about adjusting to the new lineup and working toward the ultimate goal of getting better as players and people in general.”
No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here