CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Having a tournament appearance drought is never a good thing.
Breaking a tournament appearance drought? The sweetest feeling there is.
For the 2017 SEMO women's tennis team, that's exactly what they did.
For the first time since 2007, the Redhawks are headed back to the OVC tournament and they couldn't be more excited.
"This was our goal at the beginning of the season," senior Mila Majtan said. "And we are so happy to achieve it."
Second-year coach Mary Beth Gunn is most impressed with the mentality this team has.
"They have true grit when we're on the court," Gunn said. "The mental toughness side of it has paid off for us, big time, this season."
Paid off is right. The Redhawks finished 13 and 7 overall and 5 and 4 in conference play, which earned them a 5th seed in the tournament.
"We are all very relaxed, because we achieved our first goal," Matjan said. "Now that we did, I feel like we just have nothing to lose."
"I want them to be able to handle the atmosphere and just get a feeling of what it feels like to be in the tournament," Gunn said. "And then, hopefully, with that experience under their belts, they'll feel more comfortable in years to come."
The Redhawks face off against Eastern Illinois on Friday, April 21 at 10 a.m.