DANA LEE | SPORTS REPORTER
Preparing for the Miami Ohio Invite Sept. 12 to kick-off the Butler Women’s tennis season, head coach Tayo Bailey emphasized that in a season that spans from September until mid-April, the team’s success depends on more than talent level.
“My girls work really hard and the only way to get the results that you want is to put in the time and the work,” said Bailey. “Every time you’re on the court you make it count, you get a little bit better and you give it your 100 percent every time.”
This philosophy applies to the team, from the bottom of the lineup to the top singles and doubles players. According to Bailey, her No. 4, 5 and 6 players are crucial to team wins. In addition to holding the No. 4 singles spot as in previous seasons, junior Kailey Eaton’s consistent team leadership on and off the court is a notable factor toward the team’s success.
Before entering the Big East tournament last April, the Bulldogs concluded its regular season 8-16, holding a conference record of 2-3. Current sophomore Bailey Padgett, junior Kylie Haviland, and senior Konstantina Adami contributed largely to the team.
Looking toward the approaching season, Bailey prioritizes the team’s success with two goals: ending the season over .500 and winning the doubles point.
“I’m a stickler about doubles,” said Bailey, “I think you could be really good at doubles if you just learn the simple strategies and mechanics of it.”
The foundation of the team’s doubles play stands on the duo of Konstantina Adami and Kylie Haviland, who maintain the number-one doubles slot. Last year, the duo claimed a 6-2 victory over Seton Hall University in the number-one doubles slot during the final match of the season, with Adami picking up a second win playing for number-three singles. Building on last year’s efforts, Bailey has set the bar higher.
“They’re a really solid team, I expect them to come out with more wins this year–they have a year of experience of playing with each other,” Bailey said.
Additional players to watch are newcomers Carla O’Bryne and Angela Averginos. Hailing from the Chicagoland area and standouts on their high school tennis teams, both players are ranked top 20 and 40 in the midwest, respectively.
“[O’Bryne and Averginos] give our team depth,” said Bailey. “We have 12 girls on the team and for everyone to be able to hit out with each other and practice well with each other from the top player to the bottom player is always good.”
With all the emphasis on building a balanced lineup, Bailey cites team chemistry as key for the season.
“I think that’s important for our team, continuing to help us fight for each other when we’re playing,” said Bailey. “It takes an individual sport–which is what we’re playing–and makes it a little more of a team sport.”