February 11, 2011
New faces bring different dynamics for the tennis teams.
There are a lot of new faces added to the roster for the Bison tennis team this season; including freshman Tucker Olsen from McAlester, Gonzalo Garzon, Agustin Janssen and Francisco Da Silva, who are all from South America.
Head Coach Sue Dick commented on the addition of these four players saying “The kids are a blessing to work with. They appreciate the opportunity OBU has given them to be here and play tennis, they display a positive can-do attitude, enthusiasm, desire and dedication to work hard, and are anxious to get out there on the court to prove themselves. They will be the key to a successful season.”
Michael Canavan is the only returning senior for the Bison, and Dario Macanovic, who sat out last season will help lead this 24th ranked team on up in the polls. If OBU can mature quickly and come together, they will be a real threat.
The Lady Bison tennis team is starting off their season with a different approach, having five returning players including two All-American’s. The NAIA Preseason Coaches’ Poll recently ranked the Lady Bison 19th.
According to Dick, the Lady Bison “need to do a better job of fighting and closing out points. They need to learn to relax on big points and improve strategies for controlling the match.”
So with the right combination of consistency and talent, these girls have a strong chance at going far in the post-season.
Key players for the Lady Bison will be All-American and ITA National Contenders Paola Costa and Lillian Fereirra. Costa is a First-Team All-American in singles ranked number eight, and Fereirra is ranked 30th in singles.
“They are a force to be reckoned with. They move well together, and after the impressive finish of fourth at the tournament they are anxious to get out on the court and ‘bring it’ to an even more intense level,” said Dick.
The Lady Bison have added Layla Accoursi, a freshman from Brazil, to their line-up this season.
“Layla will finish out the line-up on the women’s side,” Dick said. “She is strong and has a solid serve. Her position in the line-up is going to be a key factor to our success. Making the move from clay to hard-court tennis is a challenge she has embraced and I believe she will be able to get us where we need to be when the points count.”
The Bison tennis teams begin their season February 9, 2011 at John Brown University.