Women’s Tennis: WVU Plays In-State Rival


By Brian Kuppelweiser for WVUsports.com
March 10, 2012 10:44 AM
MORGANTOWN, W. Va. – The West Virginia University women’s tennis team will head to Huntington, W. Va. on Sunday afternoon at 12 p.m. for a match against in-state rival Marshall.

The Mountaineers will enter the non-conference matchup against the Thundering Herd with a 3-9 overall record, while Marshall enters the contest with a 6-6 ledger and a perfect 4-0 record at home.

“This is a rivalry match for us, and there is no doubt about that,” says coach Tina Samara. “We dropped our earlier rivalry match against Pitt this season, and our girls have been talking about the importance of getting this win after that loss.”

In last year’s match between the two schools, the Mountaineers came up short, as the Thundering Herd defeated them, 7-0. The loss cut WVU’s advantage in the all-time series to 20-12.

“In order to notch a win on Sunday, we are going to have to stay within ourselves and avoid making mistakes,” Samara says. “We have gone head to head with some of the top teams in the country this season, so we know that we can do it.”

Two keys to the Mountaineers hope for a victory will be junior Emily Mathis and senior Veronica Cardenas.

Mathis, who is still serving underhand due to a stomach strain, has an even 6-6 mark in doubles and a 4-6 record in the No. 1 singles spot.

“The character that Emily has shown has impressed us,” Samara says. “She is a tough girl, and we commend her for the effort she has shown.”

Cardenas, meanwhile, has caught fire recently, as she has reeled off four-straight singles wins and six in her last seven matches. The streak gives her a team-high eight singles wins.

“Veronica moved into the No. 3 spot on Wednesday and competed very strongly while getting a win,” Samara says. “With Veronica being a senior, she has experience in multiple spots in the lineup, and she knows how to manage the pressures that come with each spot. Her recent run of wins is an encouraging sign.”

A full recap of Sunday’s action will be available on MSNsportsNET.com after the completion of competition.

Tags
West Virginia University, NCAA Women's Tennis, WVU Mountaineers


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