The Smith-Cotton tennis team has been cooped up indoors.
With bad weather causing havoc on schedules this spring, the Tigers have played four times this year.
“I think the boys are disappointed that we’ve only had four and a couple we haven’t been able to make up,” said coach Heather Clancy. “We might only have 10 to 12 matches. We usually have 15.”
Some have been rescheduled. Smith-Cotton was supposed to travel to O’Hara on Wednesday but will face the Celtics next Wednesday instead. The Tigers have only been able to practice outdoors about 10 times this year, often finding practice space in the high school gym.
“I think it’s hurt our skills,” Clancy said. “We’re so used to hitting indoors and not having a full court. Our serving could be a lot better, but you can’t serve indoors. A basketball court is a lot different and you have to use a low compression ball inside.”
However, if the weather holds Friday the Tigers will get a chance to test themselves against Duchesne, Helias, Marshall, Jefferson City and Lee’s Summit at the Smith-Cotton Invitational.
Of those teams, Marshall is the only one the Tigers have faced this year, having played at Marshall’s tournament last week.
“It would be nice if we drew matches with them,” Clancy said.
Clancy expects strong showings from her doubles teams in the double-elimination tournament, including a new pairing of Aaron Walters and Matt Strouse.
“Matt and Aaron have only played once but they played School of the Osage,” Clancy said. “They’re just really good at communicating together and they read each other well.”
Smith-Cotton will also have the doubles team of Logan Fluty and Andrew Tilley.
The Tigers take the court without a lot of playing time this season, but they know they aren’t alone in that situation.
“I let them know that we’re not the only ones that have not gotten to play,” Clancy said. “Everyone else is in the same boat we are.”
The invitational is scheduled for 9 a.m. Friday at the Liberty Park courts.
9 a.m. Friday at Liberty Park courts