By Martina Shaw – Dunwoody Life Editor
The GPC Women’s tennis team defeated the College of Coastal Georgia, 7-2, on April 8 improving their record to 5-4. The team was coming off a defeat by Abraham Baldwin College, the state’s top ranked female team, earlier in the week.
The Lady Jags saw outstanding performances from the usual heavy hitters sophomore Salma Dahbi and freshman Sadietou Mayou. Dahbi as well as sophomore Maria Casseres and freshman Asia Boyd.
Dahbi played extremely well in singles, defeating her opponent, Luisa Lopes of Coastal Georgia, 6-2 and 6-1. Casseres struggled a bit in singles against opponent Sunshine Beba but ultimately was victorious.
Mayou crushed her opponent, winning 6-0 in both sets. Coach Mohamed “Reda” Nait Omar praised Mayou as a “solid player,” he continued, “she hasn’t lost a match all season.” Mayou, when asked how she prepares for her matches, said, “I just stay in my corner, listen to music, and play my match in my head.” Boyd was also successful in singles, winning both of her matches 6-4.
The men’s team, while suffering a defeat on April 8, still saw another outstanding performance by team captain Salif Kante. Kante, ranked number 2 nationally, is a sophomore at GPC and plans to attend Florida A&M University on a full tennis scholarship in the fall. Kante cites Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic as his role model, stating “because of him I want to do my best every time I play.”
Freshman Ishmail Lemtouni, also played very well, winning in singles, 6-0 and 6-1,before partnering with Kante to defeat Coastal Georgia’s Laurenz Schrapen and James Carr, 8-6. Despite these wins the team still couldn’t overcome the College of Coastal Georgia, losing 5-4.
Coach Reda stated that both teams have played extremely well this season and also noted that the tennis program is the GPC sports team “with the most national titles,” and hopes this might earn the team locker rooms for the next season.
Both teams advance to the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association (GCAA) Region XVII tournament from Friday, April 22 to Sunday, April 24 at Abraham Baldwin College in Tifton, Georgia. The tournament features players from Abraham Baldwin College, Georgia Perimeter College, and College of Coastal Georgia on the men’s side and players from these three institutions as well as Gordon College on the women’s side.
The tennis Lady Jags played well against Abraham Baldwin on April 4 before succumbing to defeat but Abraham Baldwin has dominated the tournament for more than a decade and is favored to win the tournament again this year.
Despite what will undoubtedly be impressive performances by team captain Salif Kante and freshman Ismail Lemtouni, the men’s team is also expected to lose.