Some of the players on the Barry women’s tennis team are serious. Others show a funny side. And a couple of players are relaxed.

“But they mesh very well,” said Barry tennis coach Avi Kigel. “If you are around, you see everybody laughing and joking. It is a good atmosphere and that is very important.”

Of course, Kigel pointed out, talent is needed to accomplish the things Barry has done this season. The Buccaneers are 25-0, ranked No. 2 in the ITA Top 50 and earned the No. 1 seed in the South Regional.

Barry will put its perfect record on the line 3 p.m. ET Tuesday when it takes on the winner of the Valdosta State/Florida Southern match at the Buccaneer Tennis Center in Miami Shores, Florida. The winner advances to the Division II National Championship at Sanlando Park in Altamonte Springs, Florida, May 10-13.

“This team wants to win,” Kigel said. “We want to go all the way. We know the first step is to win regional. We are in a good place right now. Hopefully, we can play well and keep moving forward.”

The Buccaneers put themselves in this position because of talented players like junior Sonja Larsen, who is 23-0 in singles and 16-2 in doubles, playing with senior Ana Pain.

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Larsen made first team All-Sunshine State Conference in singles along with sophomore Zuza Maciejewska. Larsen and Pain made first team in doubles. In addition, Dasha Salnikova was selected Freshman of the Year.

The players push each other in practice.

“We play matches against each other and they are always good matches, especially in doubles,” Larsen said. “My doubles partner, Ana Pain, helps me a lot and gives me advice in doubles. I can learn something from every player. It is a really good team atmosphere. Everybody is giving everything for each other, and that helps a lot.”

The team chemistry perhaps played a role in Barry beating Lynn 5-4 twice this season. The second victory came in the SSC championship match. Both times Larsen clinched the team victory with a win in singles. Also, when the two teams faced each other, Lynn was ranked second and Barry was ranked third.

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