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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Women’s tennis team to meet TCU

Coming off a dreary, rain-soaked Saturday, the No. 33 Texas A&M women’s tennis team will be hoping for better weather tonight against non-conference threat Texas Christian University when the two meet at the A&M Tennis Center.
The Aggies haven’t lost since Feb. 7, and will be looking to extend their win streak to seven matches.
A&M had to face the burden of overcoming a three and a half hour rain delay to rise above the puddles and outplay the No. 53 Oklahoma State University Cowgirls en route to a 5-2 victory this past weekend.
With the win, the Aggies improved to 6-0 at home, but A&M assistant coach Alison Ojeda says the team isn’t as focused on the win streak as much as they are about getting better each time they play.
“We aren’t focusing too much on having a win streak of six or seven,” Ojeda said. “That is nice, but right now we are focused on getting better at our first serves and making sure we always have good, solid returns each time we step on the court.”
The No. 30 TCU Lady Horned Frogs (4-1), led by junior netters Saber Pierce and Paty Aburto, are coming off of their first loss of the season against No. 26 University of Arizona, who blanked them 6-0. TCU Head Coach Dave Borelli said facing the Aggies in his team’s first road trip of the season will be a good test before his club heads out for a challenging west coast swing.
“You have to play a lot of matches throughout the season, and this will get us ready for some more tough teams as we move on to California after this,” Borelli said. “Facing A&M will be a stepping stone as we look to improve before May and the NCAA tournament.”
A&M has developed into a solid team just 10 matches into the 2003 season with mature play from freshmen Nicki Mechem and Seva Iwinski. Sophomore Lauren Walker, juniors Roberta Spencer and Jessica Roland and senior Ashley Hedberg have also been dominant early on for the Aggies. Ojeda said the Aggies are loaded at every position and have been blossoming into a complete team with their stockade of determined players.
“The big reason we’ve been so successful is we have girls at every spot who are consistently coming out and playing hard,” Ojeda said. “You can see it in practice and it is paying off for our girls. Their focus has been good, and they are excited about becoming better players.”
Borelli is in his first year as head coach at TCU after a successful run at the University of Southern California, where he led seven squads to the national championships during his 14-year tenure. Borelli said he is eager to see what his new team is capable of this year by laying the foundation early on for success down the road.
“At TCU we’re trying to build a program and takes it to another level, and it’s a fun process,” Borelli said. “I’m excited about playing another team from Texas. Our kids know each other, so facing the Aggies should be a pretty evenly-leveled match.”
The Aggies were swept out of the first round of the NCAA tournament last year by TCU, and are looking to avenge themselves tonight. With the two teams’ histories intact, A&M Head Coach Bobby Kleinecke said he looks forward to a match where the two rivals can build on their competitive past.
“This is one of those college matches that is fun to play, where you already have a rivalry going into the match,” Kleinecke said. “We’re both competitive teams, and we are going to have to play well against them to win. We had Sunday off to rest, so Monday (was) our first opportunity to prepare for a well-coached TCU team.”
First serve is scheduled for 6 p.m., and the Aggies are looking to improve to 8-3 with a victory tonight.
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