MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Coming off of a 5-2 win over Marquette last Sunday, the West Virginia University women’s tennis team plays host to California (Pa.) on Friday, March 8, at 3 p.m., and Rutgers on Saturday, March 9, at 1 p.m. Both matches are to be played at the Ridgeview Racquet Club.
“I have said it a lot this season, but we are again going to be taking on two formidable foes,” says coach Tina Samara. “There are no breaks in our schedule, and in order to compete for victories against teams, we are going to have to get a complete effort out of each one of our players.”
The Vulcans enter Friday’s matchup as the No. 9-ranked team at the Division II level. Thus far, they have accumulated a 4-3 overall record and are coming off of a 4-3 victory over Pitt last Saturday. Last season, California (Pa.) advanced to the quarterfinals of the Division II NCAA Champion before falling to then-defending champion, Barry (Fla.).
The Scarlet Knights, who own a 6-2 mark this season, carry a four-match winning streak into the weekend.
“We lost to both of these teams last season,” Samara says. “We would like to avenge both of those losses, but we will have to play smart and limit our mistakes on the court.”
In last weekend’s victory over the Golden Eagles, the Mountaineers (2-7) were able to earn the doubles points, as the duos of Hailey Barrett
and Irinka Toidze
earned victories. In singles play, Barrett, Chahal and Toidze, along with Audrey Wooland
, notched wins.
“It was good for Audrey and Irinka to break through and get a win last Sunday,” Samara says. “We didn’t get the doubles point in a way that we expected, as our doubles combo of Emily (Mathis) and Audrey that usually wins, didn’t win. That is a good sign though. In order to be competitive, you can’t rely on just a couple players to win every match. It needs to be a total team effort.”
For the season, Mathis leads the team in combined victories (10), is tied with doubles partner Wooland in doubles victories (6) and is tied for singles victories (4) with Barrett and Chahal.
Against the Vulcans, WVU holds a 7-2 record all-time, with its last win coming during the 2010 campaign.
In the series against Rutgers, the Mountaineers are 15-25 all-time, with its last victory coming during the 2007 season.
Full recaps of each dual match will be available on WVUsports.com following the completion of competition.