*CORRECTION: In the third paragraph, the article states that a match was cancelled because a lack of players. This is incorrect as the match was cancelled due to weather conditions. Also, in the second to last paragraph, the team will be playing the matches for the rest of the season no matter if they are allowed to or not.
In a sport filled with competitors looking to impose their will, the Brahmas’ tennis team struggles to find players looking to compete.
The Brahmas tennis team only rosters a total of four players, hindering their ability to compete this year.
They have yet to win a match and have also postponed three matches due to a lack of players.
The lack of players is not only affecting the matches they can play but also how competitive they can be.
Christian Ponce, a member of the tennis team, said it forces him to play a larger role as a freshman.
“I get to play better players but sometimes those players are just too good,” Ponce said. “I would have been playing four or five as a freshman, but since I’m forced to play number one, sometimes it’s not even competitive.”
A roster with the small size of only three players has left many wondering why there is a shortage of players.
“So far, the turnover in terms of playing in their first and second year has been so great. I’m trying to pinpoint exactly why that is,” Tennis Head Coach Long Dao said. “Most of my guys that I bring in are freshman players, so they have two years of eligibility. I know for a fact that a few guys have applied for jobs and gotten jobs, so that always gets in the way.”
While the shortage of players has no doubt affected the team’s ability to compete in games, sophomore Daniel Vinterfeld insists that it has no effect on the team’s mentality.
“It hasn’t affected us because it’s the same coach and I know the new players that are here,” Vinterfeld said. “The other players that weren’t able to return and that chose not to return either had a better opportunity for tennis, or just didn’t want to play.”
As the losses seem to pile up, there is still a future for this team and those of them on it.
“Improve as much as I can to potentially transfer and play for the school that I’m transferring to,” Vinterfeld said. “I plan on transferring to UCSB to hopefully play on their team and having some impact on that team as well.”
As the brahmas have two scheduled matches quickly approaching in the next four days, they look to add experienced players that could reap some benefits from joining the team.
“Pierce is a good place to kind of kickstart someone’s career as in let’s say a high school player had a decent junior career but didn’t quite make it to division one, two or three,” Dao said. “Pierce is a good place to just start over, work hard and see how it goes.”
For the foreseeable future, the Brahmas will continue to play as many matches as they’re allowed to play with only three rostered students.
The Brahmas next scheduled match is at home against Glendale on Feb. 28 at 2 p.m.