Women’s Tennis: WVU Heads to Georgia

  • By Brian Kuppelweiser
  • |
  • October 13, 2011 11:42 AM
  • |
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia women’s tennis team will head to Athens, Ga., this weekend to compete in the Bulldog Tennis Invitational, which is a three-day round-robin event that is set to begin Friday.

Along with WVU, the field will also consist of top-notch opponents Michigan, Virginia and Georgia, which each finished last season ranked within the top 11 of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s team rankings.

“At times, I talk about teams like this with the girls, and hopefully, they will walk away seeing that there isn’t that big of a difference between us and them,” says coach Tina Samara. “We want them to walk away realizing that it is the little things that they need to do to get better.”

The Mountaineers will begin play at 2:00 p.m. on Friday when they go head-to-head against Virginia in singles competition.

WVU’s doubles teams also will be in action on Friday when they will face off against Georgia’s doubles teams.

“Their success is going to be a matter of how they come out,” Samara says. “They have to understand that the differences between these top teams aren’t physical skills, but more mental. The top teams make a lot fewer mental errors, prepare correctly for matches and practice properly."

Sophomores Melis Tanik and Mary Chupa will look to build off their strong performances from last weekend’s Martha Thorn Invitational in which they won the Flight B Doubles title.

“We think we have a solid doubles team going forward with them,” says Samara. “They complement each other very well as far as personality and the way they play - that plays a very big role in doubles.”

Chupa and Tanik have combined for a team-high five wins in doubles this season, while Tanik also holds the top spot on the team with five singles wins.

In addition to strong performances by Chupa and Tanik, the Mountaineers will also be looking to receive a performance similar to last weekend from junior Emily Mathis.

Mathis missed the early portion of the fall schedule due to injury, but advanced to the Flight A Singles finals match in the Martha Thorn Invitational in her return to action.

Updates on the Bulldog Tennis Invitational will be provided throughout the weekend on MSNsportsNet.com


West Virginia University, Tina Samara, NCAA women's tennis