MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – After opening Big 12 Conference play last weekend, the West Virginia University women’s tennis team travels to Texas this weekend to take on No. 20 Texas Tech on Friday, March 22, at 7 p.m., and No. 22 Texas on Sunday, March 24, at 1 p.m.
“Just as we faced last weekend, we are going to take on two very solid teams again this weekend,” says coach Tina Samara. “Along with competing against two top 25 teams, we will also be competing outside for the first time since the fall season. We haven’t really had the luxury of playing outside due to the weather we have been having, but the goal is going to be the same for our players. We will need to limit our unforced errors and mistakes in order to give ourselves an opportunity to compete for a win.”
The Red Raiders (10-4, 1-0 Big 12) have one singles player ranked in the ITA Top 125 (No. 118 Kenna Kilgo) and three doubles combos ranked in the ITA Top 80 (No. 34 Kenna Kilgo/Samantha Adams, No. 61 Nikki Sanders/Rashmi Teltumbde and No. 66 Kelli Hine/Sandra Dynka).
The Longhorns (6-7, 2-0 Big 12) have two singles players ranked in the ITA Top 125 (No. 42 Aeriel Elles and No. 52 Breaunna Addison) and one doubles duo ranked in the ITA Top 80 (No. 19 Noel Scott/Addison).
In last weekend’s action, the Mountaineers (4-9, 0-2 Big 12) nearly upset then-No. 27 TCU on Friday. After the Horned Frogs earned the doubles point, WVU rallied to even the match at three apiece, but it could not complete the comeback, as Monika Sirilova defeated the Mountaineers’ Irinka Toidze
to close out the 4-3 win. Despite the loss, Audrey Wooland
earned the win of the match, as she defeated No. 65 Stefanie Tan, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4.
On Sunday afternoon, WVU was defeated by then-No. 36 Baylor, 6-1. In the loss to the Bears, Vivian Tsui
earned the lone singles win, which was her fourth straight singles victory.
“We got our first taste of Big 12 Conference tennis last weekend, and I think we took some very valuable lessons away from it,” Samara says. “We had an opportunity to earn a very big win for our program against TCU, but we weren’t able to finish the task – that was a little disappointing. Against Baylor, we faced a very good team that played a very different style than we are used to. They are a team that is going to finish the season very highly ranked.”
At six singles wins, Tsui is tied for the team lead with Hailey Barrett
, Emily Mathis
and Ikttesh Chahal
In addition to being a co-leader in singles victories, Mathis and doubles partner Wooland hold the team’s high water mark with eight doubles victories, which places Mathis’ combined victory total at a team-high 14.
This weekend’s meetings against Texas Tech and Texas will be the first time the teams have squared off in program history.
During the fall tournament season, WVU traveled to Austin for the Longhorn Invitational – a three-day tournament that was held from Sept. 21-23.
A full recap of each of this weekend’s matches will be available on WVUsports.com following the completion of competition.