Women’s Tennis: WVU Welcomes No. 39 Syracuse


By Brian Kuppelweiser for WVUsports.com
March 02, 2012 12:34 PM
MORGANTOWN, W. Va. – The West Virginia University women’s tennis team will welcome No. 39 Syracuse to Ridgeview Racquet Club on Saturday afternoon with action set to kick off at 3 p.m.

The Mountaineers will enter the match with a 3-7 overall record and a 1-3 mark in BIG EAST play.

The Orange, who entered the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s top 75 rankings this week after a win against No. 25 Yale on Sunday, will head into Saturday’s contest with an 8-4 overall record and a 3-1 conference mark. In addition to its win over the Bulldogs, Syracuse also holds wins over ranked opponents Boston College and Harvard this season.

“Obviously, Syracuse presents themselves as a tough challenge, but we faced opponents of this caliber earlier in the season,” says coach Tina Samara. “Matches against Ohio State, Virginia and Akron provided a measuring stick for us, and we know that we have to limit our mistakes if we want to give ourselves a chance to pull out the victory.”

In last weekend’s action, WVU split contests at Cincinnati and Dayton. The road trip began with a 5-2 loss to the Bearcats, but the Mountaineers rebounded on Sunday with a 4-3 triumph over the Flyers.

In both matches, junior Emily Mathis, who sustained a stomach strain against Marquette a week earlier, was forced to serve underhand. Despite the limitations, Mathis was able to fight through the pain and pull out both a doubles and singles win against Dayton. Mathis now leads the team in doubles wins with five.

“Emily showed an unbelievable amount of character last weekend,” Samara says. “With the adversity we are faced with, she stepped up and battled though the pain, but it is what we have come to expect from her. Without a doubt, she is a fighter.”

Another Mountaineer that turned out a productive weekend was senior Veronica Cardenas. The native of Powder Springs, Ga., notched her team-leading fifth and sixth singles wins of the season.

“Veronica played well last weekend,” Samara says. “She was able to rebound from a slow start against Cincinnati, and she turned in what was a good weekend of tennis.”

A full recap of Saturday’s 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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