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Women’s Tennis confident in preparation as season serves-off this week

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Women’s Tennis confident in preparation as season serves-off this week

Finance Junior Emilija Segetlija strikes overhand during pre-season practice. Jan 21. Photo by Sharome Burton.

Finance Junior Emilija Segetlija strikes overhand during pre-season practice. Jan 21. Photo by Sharome Burton.

Sharome Burton

Finance Junior Emilija Segetlija strikes overhand during pre-season practice. Jan 21. Photo by Sharome Burton.

Sharome Burton

Sharome Burton

Finance Junior Emilija Segetlija strikes overhand during pre-season practice. Jan 21. Photo by Sharome Burton.

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Women’s tennis will be served the first challenge of the season on Friday in Lubbock, Texas, to face the University of Wyoming in the first set of exhibition matches.

The women’s tennis team will enter the season as the reigning Lone Star Conference Champions – in search of a third straight title, and the number 15 ranked team in the Oracle/Intercollegiate Tennis Association Top 25 ranking of National Collegiate Athletic Association Division Two teams.

The team is approaching the season and title defense in the right frame of mind, according to Head Tennis Coach, Scott Linn.

“We’ve done a better job this year making sure our mindset in training is where it needs to be so we can continue to improve throughout a practice – that’s a good sign,” said Linn, the reigning ITA South Central Regional coach of the year.

The eight-member women’s roster will have a packed schedule of singles and doubles matches leading up to the LSC Championships in May, including 14 road trips. The Women and their rivals on the court will also have to contend with a change in the points system for the upcoming season – wins in doubles matches are now effectively worth one-sixth of the points compared to a victory in the singles.

“The scoring format in college and division two tennis has changed – it’s now where doubles is not worth as much as singles. The scoring is shortened so you have to move forward a bit more, and be comfortable with the different situations,” Linn said.

He said training has shifted accordingly to adapt to the new conditions.

“The women are doing a good job of making that transition.” Linn said. “We played and practiced doubles today but most of our practices have been singles because that’s going to be where most of the weight of the match is on.”

In addition to a conference championship and a strong 19-7 record which led to a seventh straight postseason appearance, the team is also riding high on confidence from last fall’s performance of the doubles pair of Ashley Ramirez, marketing junior, and Maddy Coffman, biology senior.

The pair which copped All-American honors and a number 22 rank in the nation, will be returning for another season.

“They returned this year and hopefully they will be playing doubles together and build on the experience they had last year, gotta work to be a great doubles team and that’s what they’re consistently doing,” said Linn.

Ramirez said the has challenged itself to improve on their start to the season this spring.

“Last year we didn’t prepare as well as we should have so we had a very slow start but this year we started off well, everyone was back here hitting so I think we’re really ready for this week and our first match,” said Ramirez.

Coffman challenged her team to not settle on last year’s accomplishments.

“We can do better,” said Coffman, who is also ranked 16th nationally in singles. “We don’t want to settle with what we did last season because we still have a lot to do so we just keep working hard and moving forward.”

Coffman said, the team has chance to make a statement on Friday, when they make their season debut against higher-ranked Wyoming.

“We just want to come out strong. I know we’re playing a bigger [Division One] team so it’s gonna be really good competition so we’re gonna try to keep our minds clear until then,” said Coffman.

Linn highlighted the depth of skill within the entire roster, which includes players from as far as Serbia, France and Australia.

“We’re deeper this year. We have more strength in singles than we’ve had in a long time so that’s exciting as well,” Linn said.

Linn added that home crowd support could make a difference this semester, with an increased number of games set for the Tennis Center.

“We’ve been top 25 in the nation for the past six years – male and female –  play with passion, they play with fight and they’re fun to watch. They’re representing the student body – the better we do, the better it represents our university so the more support we get, the better we play,” Linn said.

Women’s tennis roster

 

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About the Contributor
Sharome Burton, Sports Reporter/Photographer

Sharome Burton is a sports journalist and photographer for The Wichitan. He is a first year Mechanical Engineering student with aspirations to get involved...

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Women’s Tennis confident in preparation as season serves-off this week