By Alisha Ebrahimji
The Texas State women’s tennis team looks to make the Southland Conference semi-finals for the third consecutive season this year. Tory Plunkett is entering her ninth year as head coach of the program, and led the Bobcats to a 13-7 overall record last year. The University Star had a chance to speak with Plunkett about the upcoming season.
AE: What has been the most memorable part of your tenure as a coach of women’s tennis thus far?
TP: I think that the progress of the program, and I say that even though we have not won a championship, we are headed in that direction. When I first got here our university never had a reputation of having a women’s tennis team. Now we are one of the top three teams in the conference. We have had a regional ranking, which has never been accomplished. And now Texas kids know that we have a tennis program and that too, a Division I program. I’ll be honest with you, it has taken some time. We started from ground zero, but now we have a place in the tennis community eye.
AE: What are you looking forward to the most this season?
TP: We are returning everyone from last season. I think that we are looking forward to seeing if the experience we gained from last year has paid off. I am hoping that they have built on what they learned last season.
AE: What tournaments are you planning on competing in this year as a team?
TP: In the fall, we are playing Texas-San Antonio’s fall invitational, ITA regional tournament, Barcelou Cup Challenge in Cancun, Mexico, and Houston’s Cougar Challenge. Last, but not least, our tournament here, Texas State Play Date.
AE: What are some team goals for this season?
TP: I think it is really to just turn around and apply what we have experienced already. We need to really work on our doubles game and get our doubles point 95 percent of the time. Hopefully with the progress over the years of development we will be able to reach these goals.
AE: What tournament do you feel well be the hardest?
TP: The ITA tournament. You are looking at Baylor, who is top five in the nation, Texas, Southern Methodist University, Houston and Rice University, and they all bring their top players. It is the best of the best from our region and doing well means you qualify for the NCA indoor championship. This will be a very good challenge, but our toughest tournament.
AE: Who are some key players to keep our eyes on?
TP: We have a new comer coming in this August, Rachael Bauldry from Corpus Christi. We are extremely excited to have her. If Rachael does well at Texas State, it will open up so many doors to recruit for Texas. She has a reputation of being one of the nicest junior players on the junior tennis circuit in Texas, so she knows a lot of people and a lot of people know her. I think she will have tremendous success here at Texas State.