Injuries and lack of energy source for team’s woes

Steve Rowell/Contributing Writer

With the loss to Brown University on March 29th at the FIU tennis courts, the misery continued as the Panthers now find themselves in a season high seven- game losing streak.

Before the season, senior Rita Maisak, and junior Giulietta Boha said they had expected greater things this season compared to last year. A six-game losing streak to start the season, and a seven-game losing streak that the team is currently on is not something Boha or Maisak predicted to happen this season.

The losing streak is something that Head Coach Katarina Petrovic didn’t envision either in her first season with the Panthers.

At first, the team has been struggled to win in doubles matches, which has haunted FIU in their past seven matches. They have only won three doubles matches this season.

While doubles has become an achilles heel for the Panthers, there are other things that have hindered FIU from getting wins. The inconsistency in every given match has cost FIU.

Along with the inconsistency, players have not given 100 percent effort in every match. With the exception of freshman Carlotta Orlando, the rest of the players on the team have had moments of playing well and moments where they can’t buy a match.

After a slow start, Boha was able put together a string of victories before finding herself in another slump in the past few matches.

“I tell the players I need to see energy, and they agree but then when I ask why they are not, they can’t give me a reason,” Petrovic said.

The five and six singles positions have been almost nonexistent all season for the Panthers. The number six position in singles has been played by either freshman Lotte Gras or freshman Michelle Sabado. With the exception of a forfeit by Florida State in their match on Feb. 22, the six position is yet to register a victory in singles. Senior Magali Holt has only three singles victories this season at the number five position.

As injuries begin to mount up and FIU has become shorter on depth, the Panthers have been forced to forfeit the number six position in their losses to Tulane and Brown. Injuries to Maisak and Sabado have left FIU shorthanded and they are still considered day to day. Petrovic declined to comment further on the injuries.

These injuries have forced the other players to play out of their position, which also hurts FIU’s chances in winning matches as nine of the teams they played are ranked opponents.

“It’s really tough to provide enough energy to the players that are playing out of position, and if you see a player is losing too many matches it usually means they are playing out of position,” Petrovic said.

The Panthers now have three games left on their schedule before the Sun Belt Conference tournament.

“Right now, it’s been tough especially battling injuries but right now we are just going to practice the same and I’m looking forward to try to get a good draw in our conference tournament,” Petrovic said.

Last season, the Panthers made a good run in the conference tournament as they made it all the way to the championship round despite a subpar season. FIU will need to experience some déjà vu in this season’s conference tournament as it offers a great opportunity for FIU to salvage a dismal season.