Finished with final Big East season, Syracuse gears up for move to ACC

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on April 10, 2013 at 12:59 am Contact Sam: [email protected] | @SamBlum3 Luke Jensen knows moving to the Atlantic Coast Conference won’t be easy. Six of the top 20 teams in the nation play in the ACC.Even with the increased competition, the Syracuse head coach is excited for the move.“For us, the challenge is great,” Jensen said. “And I am excited because every recruit I’ve talked to, every player I’ve talked to on our team, we are really excited for the mountain we are about to hit.”SU (11-7, 7-1 Big East) has played its last regular-season Big East game, as it’s leaving the conference to join the ACC after this season. The ACC is widely considered one of the nation’s premier conferences, featuring some of the top teams in the sport, along with two of the past six national champions.The nation’s top-ranked team, North Carolina, will soon become a familiar foe for the Orange. Jensen said getting the opportunity to host elite teams is going to give a big boost to the SU fan base.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“Imagine what it’s going to be like bringing in North Carolina to the Dome for basketball. That place is going to sell out,” Jensen said. “Now, we get to bring the No. 1 team into our place. We don’t have to go there, they’re coming to us. So the amount of promotional enthusiasm and intrigue, and to show it exactly in front of our own fans how good we are against the best in the nation.”Leading the charge in the new conference will be Maddie Kobelt, who has played in the Big East her entire career. Kobelt said that while she is excited about the change, she understands it is her responsibility to steer the team through its upcoming challenge.“It’s about keeping positive and really just encouraging everyone to get the most out of every practice and push themselves and just how far we can really go in my first year, my only year in the ACC,” Kobelt said.Recruiting will also get a huge boost with the program’s move to the ACC.Jensen said while he thinks his current team is prepared for the rigors of the ACC, he conceded last year’s announcement has been followed by a significant increase in interest with the SU tennis program.“You really start fielding more calls, getting more interest, getting more unofficial visits from blue-chip players because they want to get in that conference,” Jensen said. “It’s the elite conference in women’s tennis. It’s a really big advantage for us.”Jensen plans to only schedule nonconference opponents who are ranked in the top 75 for next year. He said playing tough nonconference competition in the past, along with a slew of professional tournaments against players who are in the top 200 in the world during the fall season, has always paid dividends in conference play.Sophomore Amanda Rodgers, who currently occupies the No. 1 singles spot on the team, said she thinks this team could compete with the top-tier programs in women’s tennis.“I think we’re determined and we work really hard,” Rodgers said. “Hopefully, they don’t know what’s coming. Hopefully they’ve never seen us play. They won’t know what to expect.” Commentslast_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *