Jan. 17, 2013
BEAUMONT – Head coach David Wong is confident in his women’s tennis program this year, and he’s starting the season off in style, with a trip to 29th-ranked Rice on Friday before turning around and playing No. 36 Arkansas twice on Sunday.
“We’re excited to get the season started,” Wong said. “I know it’s going to be two tough opponents that we’re playing, but it really gives us a chance to see where we’re at as a team. There’s a reason both of those teams are ranked, but we’re good too. We trained all fall so we could get ready for matches like these, and I think we’ll play well.”
The Lady Cardinals started off last season with a match at Rice, falling 7-0 to the Owls, before turning in a 12-10 campaign. If LU is to be successful this time around, they’ll likely be leaning on the play of Helene Czudek and Alessandra Pennesi, who each earned a spot on the All-Southland Second Team last year. Carolina Salas will be key as well after going 15-6 at No. 1 singles last spring.
Also returning for the Lady Cards are Natalia Mayagoitia, Carolina Maso and Alicia Porte. Lara Bogdan, who redshirted a year ago, is also available.
Wong, Lamar’s all-time winningest coach, will be looking to build off 2012, his school-record eighth-consecutive winning season.
Following Friday’s match, the Lady Cards will return to Beaumont for a day before returning to Houston to play Arkansas twice at the Galleria Tennis and Athletic Club, beginning at 10 a.m.
“We wanted to maximize our date on the schedule,” Wong explained. “They are a very tough opponent, but playing them twice will give us a chance to adjust in the second match. It’s a test of endurance and mental capacity. It’s early in the season, and we’re going to start with a bang and see how the girls stack up.”
Friday’s match is set to begin at 1 p.m. at Jake Hess Tennis Stadium on the campus of Rice.