Feb. 13, 2014
BEAUMONT - After picking up a convincing 4-0 win over Jackson State two weeks ago, the Lamar women's tennis team will look to continue to progress with matches this weekend against New Mexico State, Northern Arizona and UTEP.
"I think this will give us a gauge for where we are at so far," head coach David Wong said. "We played a very good team in Rice at the beginning of the season, and then we played Jackson State. These teams that we're going to play this weekend are closer to our level, so it'll show where we stand."
Winners earlier this month against JSU include seniors Alicia Porte, who earned her first career victory at No. 1 singles, and Dariya Dashutina, who notched her first-ever No. 2 win. Freshmen Nadiya Kulibaba and Katya Lapayeva earned the match's clinching two points to improve the Lady Cardinals' record to 1-1 on the year.
However this weekend, the LU lineup will look to welcome back regular No. 1 player Carolina Masó, who is 0-1 on the year after falling at No. 22 Rice. Last season, the junior out of Veracruz, Mexico, notched 11 singles wins.
"We had some sickness over the past few weeks, but hopefully we'll be healthy this weekend," Wong said. "I think we're going to be ready to go out and compete. If we show up and play our best, I think it can be a good weekend."
All three will be hunting revenge in Sunday's match against UTEP as each dropped a singles match in a 4-2 loss to the Miners.
After Kulibaba and Lapayeva became the first freshmen to pick up victories this season, a number of fellow Lady Cards will be looking to join the club, including Hanna Elfving and Anna Spengler, who each dropped matches at Rice last month.
New Mexico State carries a 1-4 record with a win over UC Riverside into the weekend, and Northern Arizona is 2-3, beating Western New Mexico and Montana State. Both matches will be played at New Mexico State Tennis Center. First serve on Friday vs. the hosts is scheduled for 1 p.m., and Saturday's meeting with NAU is set for 10 a.m.
On Sunday, the Cards will take on UTEP, who carries a 1-5 record with a win at UTSA. The Miners have played another Southland opponent this spring, falling to McNeese State 7-0 last month. First serve in El Paso is set for 10 a.m.