The Bakersfield College tennis teams are starting the season with new coaches.
Head coach Robert Garbell came in to replace Terri Lynott in December.
Estefania Limpias has replaced Charles Provencio as assistant coach.
These personnel changes were required after former head coach Lynott chose not to return after the 2013 season, and coach Provencio’s decision to become the assistant coach for South Dakota State University’s tennis program.
“It was my dream to teach college tennis,” said Garbell, who taught at a Los Angeles elementary school for 17 years before coming to BC.
He described his experiences with the game before his teaching career.
“I started playing tennis when I was 7 and played until I was 21. That was my whole life; I played college tennis at [Brigham Young University], had back surgery and played one pro circuit.”
These last-minute personnel changes have brought about problems for the tennis teams.
Chief among them is that due to the late filing of the paperwork neither team had a schedule until late this month, and neither the men or the women have been able to play their scheduled matches for January.
The women’s team also has an added issue; currently, their team only has five players, which means they’re automatically losing one match per tournament.
“It’s the women where we’re struggling to get enough,” said Garbell. “The problem is that a lot of them have classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays because they didn’t know if we were going to have a team.”
While these problems persist with the women’s team, Garbell notes that the men’s team has an abundance of talent to draw on.
“We have some experience and some youth,” he said.
“We’re deep, [the men] are really deep all the way down to number six. We have one kid named Michael Rice who played the year before last and he’s back, and we have Sammy Ramirez, a freshman, who was the high-school player of the year last year in Bakersfield. So along with those two, I think everyone else is returning form last year, so we’re two deeper than we were last year.”
While the season is starting off shaky, Garbell is pleased with the progress his teams are making, and is looking forward to getting his players out on the court.
“Everybody is working hard, everybody is excited, everyone gets along, and everyone has a great attitude.”
Men’s tennis will have their first match on Feb. 14 at Modesto Junior College, while the women’s team will begin with a match at College of the Sequoias on Feb. 11.