Tennis Takes a Break from Traditional Fitness

Members of the 2013-14 LSU Women's Tennis team
Members of the 2013-14 LSU Women's Tennis team
Steve Franz
Cari Gold
Cari Gold

BATON ROUGE -- Although most students are still enjoying Christmas break, the LSU women’s tennis team has been hard at work for the past week as they prepare for the upcoming season. 

Two practices a day, with fitness incorporated multiple times throughout the week, can be exhausting.  At times like this, LSU head coach Julia Sell likes to take a break from traditional fitness practices.

Sometimes they have drills, like wheelbarrow races, incorporated into their normal fitness session. A few times a semester, though, Sell likes to use ultimate Frisbee as a conditioning practice. 

“Frisbee is just a fun way to incorporate a lot of sprints and a lot of running,” said Sell.  “It builds a lot of team unity and fun.  We’re a new team, as far as five new faces, so it’s just a different way for them to interact and get a great workout in the process.” 

Friday included one of those sessions.  The team warmed up by competing against each other in different drills that worked on their tennis skills.  Then the real competition of the day began. 

Abigail Owens and Gabrielle Otero served as captains and selected their teams from the remaining players, the women’s tennis manager Hunter Porter, the men’s tennis manager Seth Guilbeau, and the team’s Sports Information Director Cari Gold. 

The Gold team, led by Otero, quickly garnered three points.  The combination of Otero, Skylar Holloway, Ella Taylor, Mary Jeremiah and Guilbeau proved to be a strong force with the Frisbee as the Gold team dominated the Purple team in the first half.  

The Purple team, composed of Owens, Joana Vale Costa, Ariel Morton, Porter and Gold, needed to change tactics for the second half of the game. 

After the water break, Sell replaced Morton on the Purple team.  Drawing on her coaching skills, Sell used tennis analogies to help inspire the Purple team. 

Sell’s speech worked and the Purple team caught up to the Gold team.  After many impressive defensive stops by both teams, a truce was called. 

After a long week of practices, a fun day of Frisbee is exactly what the team needed to relax while still working on their fitness. 

“It’s a fun game and we are actually getting a good workout in,” said Morton.  “We are sweating more than we think and we don’t really pay attention to it because we are out here having a good experience bonding together and being competitive.”

“I think it’s a lot of fun and it’s something that we all can enjoy,” said Otero.  “It makes us all join together to have fun and helps us work as a team.”

The Lady Tigers open the spring season on Jan. 19 as they host a doubleheader against Nicholls and Southern at ‘Dub’ Robinson Stadium.  Admission to all home matches is free.

So, what other games will the team use for fun fitness sessions?  Well, there was talk of a capture the flag match.

Follow the Lady Tigers on Twitter @lsuwten and @LSUJuliaSell, on Instagram @LSUWTen and





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