MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - The West Virginia University women’s tennis team returns to the courts of Ridgeview Racquet Club this weekend, as it hosts No. 31 Oklahoma State on Friday, April 5, at 1 p.m., and No. 34 Oklahoma on Sunday, April 7, at 11 a.m., in its final two home contests of the season.
“We head into our matches this weekend with two weeks of rest and practice that has allowed us to refocus our efforts,” says coach Tina Samara. “We will be facing two quality opponents this weekend. We know that we have the ability to play with these teams, but now, we have to put a complete match together from start to finish in order to earn a victory – that means coming out with intensity and determination from the first serve in doubles play.”
The Cowgirls (10-5, 2-2 Big 12) enter the weekend with one singles player ranked in the ITA Top 125 (No. 60 Malika Rose) and one doubles tandem ranked in the ITA Top 80 (No. 48 Kanyapat Narattna/Malika Rose).
The Sooners (10-6, 3-2 Big 12), who take on Iowa State on Friday afternoon, have one ranked singles player (No. 79 Hermon Brhane) and one ranked doubles combo (No. 15 Hermon Brhane/Whitney Ritchie).
“In our match against TCU, we saw glimpses of what our team needed to do in order to win,” Samara says. “In college tennis, you don’t have to hit your best shot every opportunity you get. You can be successful by limiting your mistakes and playing a smart, composed match. When we have had success this year that is what we have done.”
In their last action on March 24, the Mountaineers (4-11, 0-4 Big 12) were defeated by then-No. 22 Texas at the Penick-Allison Tennis Center in Austin, Texas. Despite being blanked 7-0 as team, Hailey Barrett
and Ikttesh Chahal
notched an impressive win in doubles play, as they were able to upset then-No. 19 Breaunna Addison and Noel Scott, 8-6.
“Hailey and Ikttesh’s win was a good accomplishment,” Samara says. “I didn’t realize that the doubles team they defeated was ranked as highly as they were at the time. Looking back, I thought they could have played better, but they still got the win. They also did it in windy conditions, which we weren’t prepared for heading into those matches.”
Heading into this weekend’s action, Emily Mathis
leads the team with 14 combined victories and is tied with doubles teammate Audrey Wooland
with eight doubles wins. In singles play, four players (Mathis, Barrett, Chahal and Vivian Tsui
) are tied with six victories apiece.
This weekend’s meetings against Oklahoma State and Oklahoma will be the first time in program history that WVU has squared off against the Cowgirls and Sooners.
A full recap of each of this weekend’s matches will be available on WVUsports.com following the completion of competition.