Both the men’s and women’s tennis teams will host out of conference opponents this weekend as the men take on Penn State tomorrow in their last home match before hitting the road, while the women will try their forehands against Quinnipiac and UMass in their first official matches of the season.
Not one singles player or doubles team has fallen in the last two weeks for the men’s team as they man handled first Georgetown and then Binghamton. Tomorrow morning, the path of two teams on hot streaks will collide at the Reis Tennis Center as Penn State tries to defend its undefeated record.
“They are ranked a little ahead of us, but I still think that we are the favorite,” said junior Dan Brous. “We just have the confidence right now. We’re playing well and we definitely know we can win this weekend.”
The Red’s confidence arrises from the fact that it has already taken its games up against such tough opponents as then-No. 33 Virginia Commonwealth and No. 66 Old Dominion. The Red’s showing against these teams propelled them from unranked to as high as No. 72 in the nation. Currently holding down the No. 74 slot, Brous points out that this is the Nittany Lions’ first tough match this year after wins against Bucknell, St. Bonaventure, and Bloomsburg.
“They just haven’t played any hard opponents,” Brous said. “That makes us just a little more prepared because of our trip down to Virginia where we beat Old Dominion. We never doubted that we should be ranked even before the trip.”
With matchups against Western Michigan, Army, and Colgate coming up in the next two weeks, Brous insists that the team not look ahead.
“This is definitely our biggest matchup of the season to this point,” Brous said. “There is no point in looking down the road because we need to go out there and take care of business this weekend first.”
After nearly a month of training, the women’s team is in the starting gate and ready to go. The Red has had a very successful preseason, including a scrimmage with Binghamton last Tuesday where Cornell came away with a 6-1 victory.
“We’ve been able to get our feet wet these past few weeks with things like our scrimmage and the Cornell Invitational,” said head coach Laura Glitz. “We’ve been consistently working hard, doing track workouts on top of practice, but it’s finally time to get into the swing of things.”
The Red will be led by the Cornell Invitational’s B Flight singles champion junior Nisha Suda, and the doubles championship team of senior Mollie Edinson and freshman Shayna Miller against what Glitz calls good starting opponents.
“Both [Quinnipiac and UMass] are a little dangerous, so we can’t overlook them, but at the same time they give us a good idea of where we stand against decent competition,” Glitz said. “In the end, though, I feel like all these matches are just preparation for the Ivies, which will be the main focus of our season.”
Quinnipiac is off to a mixed start, with a 6-1 win against Bucknell last weekend but a season opening, 7-0 loss to Yale. UMass stands at 0-2 on the spring season, after losses to Brown, 6-1, and Army, 5-2. Glitz points out Quinnipiac’s young talent and UMass’s perrenial competitiveness as points to watch out for.
“I hear that Quinnipiac has a couple good freshman this year, so that is a reason for caution,” Glitz said. “We see UMass more often and they are always solid. Luckily we don’t just have one or two people standing out, the whole team is playing well.”
Archived article by Cory Bennett
Sun Staff Writer