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The Battalion

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

The Battalion

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Aggie women’s tennis prepares for SMU Red and White Challenge

Tennis
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Tennis

The Texas A&M women’s tennis team prepares to take the courts in Dallas this weekend as it participates in pool play for the SMU Blue and Red Challenge to compete in singles and doubles.
For some of the girls on the team, this will be their final tournament before the regular season begins in January. Head coach Mark Weaver said the match-ups will mirror a first look at how spring play will begin.
“It’s a neat deal,” Weaver said. “Six of our girls will play six of their girls. Our one will play their one and our two will play their two [in singles]. And doubles will be before that where our number one team plays their number one team, so it’s set up like it would in the spring so it’s a great team feel of what to expect come spring time.”
Some of the players will continue to compete following the Blue and Red Challenge, but for most, the end of this tournament means going home over the winter. However, Weaver said he is pleased with the progress the team has made throughout the fall in their preparations for the spring.
“I really feel we’ve stepped it up the last couple of weeks,” Weaver said. “The [ITA Texas Regionals] had some encouraging results. We’re kind of where we need to be, I’m extremely optimistic and excited how things have progressed this fall. If I had to guess right now, we’re not too far away from playing at a pretty high level.”
Sophomore Eva Paalma will be featured in a new doubles combination with freshman Dominica Gonzalez, and she said this tournament will be important to gather more experience before the end of the fall.
“For me, it’s to get more match toughness and to get more matches in before the season starts,” Paalma said. “It’s to apply the things we’ve done in practices to the matches.”
The new doubles team came after an injury to junior Rachel Pierson required a sudden change in the lineup, but coach Weaver said he likes how the two have played together in practice.
“We’ve actually seen Eva and Dominica practice and they make a good doubles team,” Weaver said. “I don’t know if that’s a team we’ll put together or not in the future but it’ll be kind of neat to see how they play together.”
The tournament pool play matches begin Friday and will follow a three-day schedule, weather permitting, and will feature big matchups out of the conference including Wichita State. Any member of the team qualified after the tournament will then participate in the Rebel Fall Invite in Las Vegas.
 

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