Women's Tennis Rebuilds for Spring Season
Get an exclusive look at SMC's Tennis Program Before They Start Their Season.
Last April, the Santa Monica College Corsairs Women's Tennis team won the Ojai Tennis Tournament. This coming season, they will look to repeat their dominant performance.
The program, led by Mayra Jovic, a returning Sophomore, won the State singles and doubles tournament at the Ojai Tennis Tournament. With that victory, the team won their fourth doubles championship, and fourth team championship.
As the reigning champions, the team will enter the new season next semester without four of their top players, who all have transferred out of SMC.
Head Coach Richard Goldenson has been the coach of the program for 14 years and coached the team through five overall championships since 2010.
When asked about the thought process of coaching an entire new group of players, Goldenson said, "That's kind of the nature of Community College Athletics. There's a lot of turnover, and fortunately there's actually a turnover whether they went on to transfer, so that's fantastic and that's what we want. I enjoyed reading about their progress at the higher level. So it's normal, I'm used to it. So every year you're rebuilding, essentially like a little family of players, it's fun putting that family together."
Goldenson also explained how he planned to prepare his new group of athletes for the upcoming season. "Many of them are taking a fall tennis class that I've been teaching," Goldenson said. "We have a class also in the winter that they can take. It's a six-week long class that meets two-hours a day Monday through Thursday, and that's a great jump-start to get them back into the swing of things."
This year's team has already met together on Nov. 4, 2017, the day of the school's Homecoming Game. Some of Goldenson's students held a fundraiser where they sold concessions. Goldenson was not at the event, but described how the process of this fundraiser went down.
"They got together at the football game, and they sold concessions," Goldenson said. "It wasn't a successful fundraiser, but more than anything I think it was a successful team bonding experience. They had a fun time, they saw what it was like to work together, so it was fun."
When asked about the process of integrating the new players with half of the returning players, Goldenson said, "Tennis is tennis. Once you get on the court and start playing, you become friends quickly and then you play those first few matches, you really to get to know each other in those long van rides."
With the season looming in February, Goldenson would set a theme that would benefit the players. "We want to start the season at one level, and we want to improve," Goldenson said. "For me, it's not enough if we feel like the greatest team and we win every match, but as individuals and as teammates, they don't improve. It's all about improvement, becoming stronger players, learning more about themselves, and gaining something from it."