MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Following a week off from competition, the West Virginia University women’s tennis team will return to the court, as it travels to Austin, Texas, for the Longhorn Invitational on Sept. 21-23.
The tournament will feature 64 players from Texas, LSU, Oklahoma, TCU, North Texas, UTSA, SMU, Houston, Rice, Denver, Tulane and WVU.
“This will probably be one of the tougher, if not the toughest, fall tournaments that this program has played in,” said coach Tina Samara. “Seven teams finished last season in the top 60 of the ITA’s rankings, including our fellow Big 12 conference members Texas at No. 10, TCU at No. 35 and Oklahoma at No. 46.”
Samara believes that the challenging competition her team will encounter at the Longhorn Invitational is something that will make her team better down the road.
“The competitors and teams that we will play against here is similar to what we are going to see during the spring season,” Samara said. “I don’t expect our girls to be surprised by anything, because we have preached the importance of staying within yourself and making sure you do the little things during each match.”
The Mountaineers, who last competed on Sept. 7-9 at the UNC-Wilmington Collegiate Invitational, are looking to continue the strong play that they displayed in their first tournament of the fall season.
“What we saw in Wilmington was very encouraging from this team,” Samara said. “Audrey (Wooland) is starting to get back into the swing of things after playing sparingly last season, Emily (Mathis) and Ikttesh (Chahal) are continuing to develop and our freshmen have surprised us with their ability to handle their transition from high school to college.”
At the UNC-Wilmington Invitational, each WVU player was able to earn at least one singles and one doubles win, including freshman Vivian Tsui
Tsui finished the weekend with a team-high four combined wins, while tying with Mathis for the team high in singles wins with two.
“Vivian showed that she can compete at this level, but we have to see that from her on a daily basis, whether it is in practice or in a match,” Samara said. “With all of our younger players, there were some very positive takeaways from the weekend, but we know there is always going to be room for improvement.”
Play is set to begin at 9:30 a.m. each morning, and live results from the tournament will be available at the following website: http://tennislink.usta.com/TOURNAMENTS/TournamentHome_New/Tournament.aspx?T=130130.
A recap of the day’s action will be available on WVUsports.com following the completion of competition.