MORGANTOWN, W.Va – The West Virginia University women’s tennis team takes on in-state rival Marshall on Saturday, Jan. 26, at the Ridgeview Racquet Club at 1 p.m.
“This is a match that our girls should be very excited to play because of the rivalry between the two schools,” says coach Tina Samara. “Marshall has been a team that has been able to be successful over the past few seasons, so competing successfully and getting a victory would be very nice for our young team.”
In last year’s matchup between the two squads, WVU was defeated by Marshall, 6-1. The win closed the series gap to 20-14 in favor of the Mountaineers, with the Old Gold and Blue’s last win coming during the 1998 campaign – a stretch in which the Thundering Herd has won the last 10 matchups.
“Marshall has a hold on this series, and that is something that we are hoping to change this weekend,” Samara says. “In order to do so, we will have to play composed tennis, and we will have to limit our mistakes. We saw last weekend that we are able to compete with solid teams, but we have to keep our mistakes to a minimum.”
In the Mountaineers’ first match of the season against No. 57 Ohio State last Saturday, WVU was defeated 6-1, with freshman Hailey Barrett
earning the team’s lone point in the match.
“Hailey showed us why she had the accolades that she did coming into college,” Samara says. “She looked a little nervous during doubles play, but that is to be expected in your first collegiate tennis dual match. She shook the nerves in singles play, however, and was able to rebound nicely. We are really looking forward to having her in this program over the next few years.”
WVU’s Audrey Wooland
nearly upset 41st-ranked Kelsey Dieters, as she took the first set and led late in the second set. The lead, though, was not enough, as Dieters was able to rally for the win.
“Despite not getting the win, it was good for Audrey’s confidence to know that she can play with that type of player,” Samara said. “If she continues to play like she did early in that match, it is a very encouraging sign.”
The Mountaineers enter Saturday’s match with a 0-1 record, while the Thundering Herd enter the contest with a 2-0 mark.
A full recap of Saturday’s match will be available on WVUsports.com after the completion of competition.