Women’s Tennis: WVU Hosts Pitt and Akron


By Brian Kuppelweiser for WVUsports.com
February 02, 2012 04:15 PM
MORGANTOWN, W. Va. – The West Virginia women’s tennis team will play host to Pitt on Friday at 3 p.m., as well as Akron on Sunday at 12 p.m., with both matches being held at the Ridgeview Racquet Club.

The Mountaineers enter Friday’s tilt against the Panthers with an 0-3 record, but are coming off a loss to No. 9 Virginia in which coach Tina Samara saw strides in the right direction.

“We took some positives away from our match against a very tough Virginia team,” says Samara. “We competed on Tuesday, and if we bring that same fire to the court this weekend, we like our chances.”

WVU had the opportunity to square off against players from Pitt, who enters the match at 1-1, during the fall season at the Martha Thorn Invitational and the ITA Regionals.

“We saw some of Pitt’s players this fall,” Samara says. “They have some strengths at certain spots, but I definitely think that they are beatable. Again, it comes down to what we do. If we stay within ourselves and do what we are capable of, we will be fine, but that is a big if.”

The Mountaineers lead the all-time series against the Panthers, 29-4.

“We should be coming out with more fire than normal because it is Pitt,” Samara says of the rivalry. “There is a little extra behind it. We made sure the upperclassmen told the younger girls what this match is all about.”

Sunday’s match against Akron (2-0) will present a different difficulty to the Mountaineers, as the Zips come in as a somewhat unfamiliar opponent. WVU did not compete against them in the fall.

“We don’t know a whole lot about Akron,” Samara says. “We have looked over their results, and they look like a pretty solid team.”

Akron won 5-2 over Michigan State on Jan. 22 and will enter Sunday’s match having played two matches the day prior.

In order for the Mountaineers to be successful in both matches this weekend, junior Emily Mathis will need to continue her strong play in the No. 1 singles and No. 1 doubles spot.

“I am not worried Emily,” Samara says. “She will go out and do her best. She will fight hard and do what she does to get wins.”

A full recap of both matches will be available on MSNsportsNET.com after the completion of competition.

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


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