The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Bulldogs stay positive as they serve defeats on the Tennis Courts

Bulldogs stay positive as they serve defeats on the Tennis Courts

The Mississippi State University Bulldogs put the Alabama State University Hornets and the University of Alabama at Birmingham Blazers in their place in this weekend’s home matches for women’s tennis.

Emma Antonaki, a freshman from Athens, Greece, said it was a bit slow to get started, but once the team got going, they had a great energy.

“In the beginning, it was a little bit tough, especially in the morning because it was really cold and it was not really a good day,” Antonaki said. ”But we won the first match 7-0, so we had a good advantage. We played really good as a team, we had good energy, and I think the result was good.”

A slow start but excellent finish was true for teammate Magda Adaloglou, a sophomore from Veria, Greece, as she rallied from being down 9-5 to win the set in an exciting comeback.

“I was always believing I would win the match because I knew I could win,” Adaloglou said. “But at times when I was missing a lot and it was 9-5, then I said, ‘No, you’re going to make every single ball.’ And then I said to myself, ‘You always have the choice, either being negative or either being positive.’”

Head coach Daryl Greenan spoke highly of Adaloglou’s comeback and what it meant for the team.

“Saving four match points. That’s tough as nails… we had a real close doubles earlier and we pulled it off, it shouldn’t have been that close but we pulled it off,” Greenan said. “When you win those close ones… it just gives you confidence that you can do it when you’re in that situation again and we’re going to be in that situation a lot in our league.”

Magda’s comeback helped the Bulldogs win 7-0 against Alabama State in Saturday’s first match. In the day’s second match, MSU continued the sweep against Alabama State with a second shutout, clinching the match 4-0.

Adaloglou and Antonaki both said the team’s focus was on having good energy, supporting each other and being positive before playing UAB on Sunday.

“Don’t have bad thoughts, only good thoughts. Try to support everyone because someone else probably needs it more than you,” Antoaki said. ”I think if we have the same atmosphere of today, we will have the same result tomorrow.”

Greenan said the team had a commitment to positive energy.

“We’re always looking for good energy, we’re looking for the girls to just trust themselves and play with authority,” Greenan said. ”I think we’re getting a little bit better at those things.”

This positive mindset worked for the Bulldogs, and they pulled out a 6-1 win the next day against the UAB Blazers. However, it was not a walk in the park, while the Bulldogs won in doubles and the first two singles matches, the match could have gone either way with momentum going back and forth on the remaining three singles courts.

It was the racket of Janina Braun, a senior from Berlin, that pulled out a win on her court and helped the Bulldogs get over the 3-0 hump, solidifying their win over UAB.

“If she hadn’t figured out a way to get that second set, then we would’ve been possibly still out here fighting for our lives,” Greenan said.

Greenan said the match would help prepare them for future challenges in their schedule.

“That was a battle, and we’re going to be in a whole bunch of battles this year,” Greenan said. ”That was a good one to win and prepare us for the future battles that we know we’re going to have.”

In addition to great individual talent, the Bulldogs have an excellent team camaraderie that shows in their positive attitudes and tenacious gameplay.

“We love it,” Adaloglou said. ”I love this team. Everyone loves each other so that’s really important.”

Greenan said the family atmosphere of the team gives him a positive outlook on the rest of the season.

“We have a great group of girls. They’re very committed and in it together, and I can’t ask for a whole lot more in that department,” Greenan said. ”We have a nice culture on our team and I think down the road, as long as we keep getting some wins and more confidence, then I think we can really maximize our talent.”

About the Contributor
Hannah Blankenship
Hannah Blankenship, Former Editor-in-Chief
Hannah Blankenship served as Editor-in-Chief of The Reflector from 2021 to 2022. She also served as the Managing Editor from 2020 to 2021 and as the News Editor from 2019 to 2020. Hannah was named College Journalist of the Year at the 2022 Southeastern Journalism Conference.
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Bulldogs stay positive as they serve defeats on the Tennis Courts