Women’s Tennis: WVU Travels to Milwaukee


By Brian Kuppelweiser for WVUsports.com
February 17, 2012 09:00 AM
MORGANTOWN, W. Va. – The West Virginia University women’s tennis team will travel to Milwaukee, Wis., this weekend for a neutral-site contest against Connecticut on Saturday at 10 a.m. and a match against Marquette on Sunday at 10 a.m.

“We know a little bit about each of them from matching up against both teams last season,” said coach Tina Samara. “This is another weekend that if we do what we are capable of doing, we have a very good shot at winning both days.”

The Huskies enter the weekend with a 0-2 record and will square off against the Golden Eagles on Friday afternoon. Marquette will enter the weekend with a 4-1 mark.

“Marquette looks to be doing a little rebuilding, and my gut feeling is that they aren’t quite as strong as a year ago,” Samara said. “Connecticut is in some of the same situations as Marquette, relatively speaking. If we play at the level we are capable of and do not try to do anything beyond our limitations, we will give ourselves a shot to grab two wins.”

The Mountaineers will head into the weekend riding a bit of momentum, as they scored their first victory of the season last Saturday against George Washington.

“The match against George Washington helped a lot, even under the circumstances that we are faced with,” Samara said. “Our kids were spending too much time worrying about that missing sixth player. If they all play well in their spot, they will be able to do well during the course of our schedule.”

One player that has responded to the challenge of playing one player short is senior Veronica Cardenas, who leads the team with three singles victories at the No. 4 spot. Cardenas is also tied for the team lead with three doubles victories.

“The change from the fall to now with Veronica has been welcomed,” Samara said “Our player’s improvement on the court is just as important as their improvement off the court. We hope that we are able to teach these kids some things that they can take into their next portion of their career or into a job.”

Also excelling this season is junior Emily Mathis. The native of Flower Mound, Texas notched the match-clinching point against the Colonials in a singles match that lasted nearly three hours.

“It was good to see Emily get that victory, even though she didn’t know that it was a match-clinching point,” Samara said. “Because of our numbers this season, she was putting so much pressure on herself to win. She was forcing things, but that match may have eased the burden a bit.”

A full recap of both days’ action 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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