“At this point, it is something that is expected,” Eagle’s Landing tennis coach Mike Hutchings said. “They have the immediate goal to win the region and see how far we can advance in the state tournament.”
Even though the boys’ team didn’t win the region title, they had a successful regular season also and Hutchings expects them to play beyond the first round as well.
“With the girls and the guys, I think we got a good shot at advancing pretty deep into the state tournament,” Hutchings said. “It’s just going to be day-to-day thing and it depends on how they respond to each match. I think we can play with anybody and it just comes down to who has a better day.”
Both teams will continue preparing this week for the playoffs, which aren’t scheduled to begin until after April 19 and then the entire following week while other teams conclude region play.
“The big thing for us is one, getting acclimated to the heat and two, fixing major problems that we have,” Hutchings said. “Make sure our doubles are playing correct doubles. We’ve got some doubles teams that haven’t played a ton of tennis together so were just trying to figure out our best pairing. Basically, fixing anything that is broken but we’re pretty solid across the board, just fine-tuning some things.”
One way Hutchings prepares his teams for the increased temperatures that could become a factor in May is having them practice in hoodies.
Last season, the Lady Golden Eagles (17-4) advanced to the second round for the second year in a row before falling to Richmond Academy.
“Last year, it was just trying to figure out the key to being successful and we put that together later in the season,” Hutchings said.
In 2011, the girls’ team reached the Final Four for the first time and the boys advanced to the Elite Eight.