By: TANNER BERMAN
Lead by Head Coach Mike Perez, both men’s and women’s tennis teams are looking to do big things, this spring semester.
Perez is entering his twenty-sixth season as head coach and has received 938 victories over the years, with six of them being national champion- ships. He has accumulated a winning percentage of .794, making him the coach with the most wins in all of Lynn athletics history. Although Perez’s tennis programs are synonymous with success, he himself is a humble man who does not expect any less from his players.
“Our feelings are that we have young teams on both sides and the enthusiasm is positive,” said Perez. “With youth, comes inexperience and inconsistent play. That is why we work hard in prac- tice and try to be patient.”
Combined, both teams only have five upperclassmen but the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) does not see the Fighting Knights youthful personnel to be an issue. The women’s team comes into the new season ranked fifth in the country, while the men’s team is seventh by the ITA.
Coach Perez feels confident about his two tennis programs, but does not want to make any predictions yet.
“You can never predict how a season may go,” said Perez. “As long as we stay humble, positive and give our best physical and mental effort, we will have a suc- cessful year.”
Unlike other years, both of Perez’s teams come into this season ranked within the top 10 teams in the country. When teams are ranked that high there is always discussion about the possibility of a national championship, but winning two national championships with two different programs in the same year by one coach has never been done before.
“It will be a real challenge to win a national champion- ship with both teams. [Arm- strong State University] and [Barry University] on the women’s side, and [Arm- strong University] and [Hawaii Pacific University] are clear favorites,” said Perez. “Saying that, we will give it our best shot and that’s all one can do.”
Both teams have already started their seasons. If interested in catching some high intensity tennis, visit lynnfightingknights.com for both of the teams schedules.