HIGH POINT – Things have not been easy for the North Carolina A&T women’s team this season.
The Aggies have been playing with five players, one below the minimum for competition. Senior Kimberly Stalling had to celebrate her Senior Day Friday afternoon at Oak Hollow Tennis Center because the remainder of their matches this season will be considered road or neutral contests
A&T also dropped to 0-4 on the season after a 7-0 loss to Norfolk State. But the Aggies have a team built for facing adversity starting with their No. 1 singles player Kenya Colbert. Colbert, a junior out of Upper Marlboro, Md., lost her singles match to Liza Gordeeva 6-3, 6-0 after she and Jayla Scott lost their doubles match to Andrea Macchiavello and Mafalda Lhorca 8-3.
While visibly upset the Aggies were not successful, she takes solace in the fact she is even playing tennis after sustaining an ACL injury in the opening match of the 2013 season. After having to sit and watch the entire season go by last year, she knows how to keep her teammates upbeat.
“We just have to keep our focus on the next point,” said Colbert, who wants to either be a physician’s assistant or a physical therapist after graduation. “We can’t worry about what happened on the previous point. I see improvement for our team in the future. We just have to remain patient and positive. If we keep going out there and fighting, working hard in practice and executing in matches, we will be okay.”
Colbert no longer thinks about her repaired right knee when competing. She deemed herself 100 percent in July after injuring the ligament last January. The preparation it took to get her to where she did feel completely healed was a tough process. The goal was to strengthen the muscles around Colbert’s knee. In order to do so, she spent time in the weight room doing quadriceps and hamstring work, while also working on her calf muscles and hips.
“I don’t think about it now,” said Colbert, referring to her knee. “I’m focused on doing better and being better,” said Colbert. “I knew I would be back and ready, but it was hard. I got through it by the grace of God.”
It is that same determination that Colbert will lean on to help the Aggies face some of the obstacles facing them this season. Stalling’s experience will be a help. She was honored on Friday with gifts, a framed photo of her in action and flowers. Stalling, a speech pathology major, plans to work for a speech company after graduation.
Stalling, Colbert and the Aggies are back in action Saturday, Feb. 8, at the Raleigh Racquet Club as they take on Delaware State at 3 p.m.
Norfolk State 7, North Carolina A&T 0
1. GORDEEVA,Liza (NSUW) def. COLBERT,Kenya (NCATW) 6-3, 6-0
2. MACCHIAVELLO,Andrea (NSUW) def. SCOTT,Jayla (NCATW) 6-0, 6-1
3. KAMEGNE,Yvonne (NSUW) def. STALLING,Kimberly (NCATW) 6-1, 6-0
4. LHORCA,Mafalda (NSUW) def. SMITH,Saundra (NCATW) 6-1, 6-1
5. HABIYAREMYE,Marie (NSUW) def. BETTS,Lexxus (NCATW) 6-0, 6-0
6. SCOTT,Krystal (NSUW) def. TEAM (NCATW), by forfeit
1. MACCHIAVELLO,Andrea/LHORCA,Mafalda (NSUW) def. COLBERT,Kenya/SCOTT,Jayla (NCATW) 8-3
2. GORDEEVA,Liza/SCOTT,Krystal (NSUW) def. STALLING,Kimberly/SMITH,Saundra (NCATW) 8-1
3. KAMEGNE,Yvonne/HABIYAREMYE,Marie (NSUW) def. TEAM/TEAM (NCATW), by forfeit