By (Ben Boynton)

With only four matches left in the season, one might think there isn’t a ton left for a player or a team to improve on.

The Alabama men’s tennis team begs to differ.

“The last couple days, we’ve worked on things that each individual player needs improvement on,” coach George Husack said. “It’s not just about being in shape anymore. We have to really work hard and focus on the exact things we need work on.”

Husack said the team is dedicating its time to extra serving practice, working on return shots and playing specific game-like situations. The Crimson Tide is still practicing together as a team, but there is more focus on individual work now than there has been all season.

Senior Becker O’Shaughnessey has put in extra time on the courts, working on his racket speed for second serves and trying to get to the net quicker on returns.

“I’m trying to increase the pace with that [racket speed] so it gives my opponents less of a chance of being able to jump on it, as well as cutting out some double faults,” O’Shaughnessey said. “Every guy has different things they’re working on.”

With a majority of its season over, rather than thinking about the end, Alabama plans to take advantage of the time it has left.

“Obviously it’s a long season, and sometimes you’re exhausted, but you’re always looking for when’s the next time you can compete,” O’Shaughnessey said. “We’re always excited, so it’s never really like anyone is looking for the finish line.”

All season long, Husack has stressed the importance of the team not getting ahead of itself, and that hasn’t changed late.

“It’s always been one match at a time,” Husack said. “We have to continue to not look ahead and focus on what’s in front of us.”

The Crimson Tide (13-9, 4-4 SEC) finds itself seventh in the conference play, two spots above its No. 9 preseason ranking, and with four matches remaining, it has the potential for postseason play this year.

“The finish line is coming soon,” O’Shaughnessey said. “We can’t get distracted, we just have to keep working.”

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Source:: The Crimson White Sports