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Monday, June 17
The Indiana Daily Student

sports tennis

IU women’s tennis set for first road trip of season

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The Hoosiers are heading into Southeastern Conference territory.

This weekend, the IU women’s tennis team will have matches Friday and Sunday morning against University of Tennessee and No. 23 University of Kentucky, respectively. 

This marks the first time in 2019 the 6-2 Hoosiers are playing away from home. IU’s two losses this season came at the hands of University of Notre Dame and Xavier University.

Last season the Hoosiers struggled on the road. IU went 3-7 combined in neutral and away matches in 2018, compared to its stellar 14-4 record in Bloomington last season. 

“I think it will be a tough test for us just because it’s our first road contest,” IU Head Coach Ramiro Azcui said. “These are two teams we circled on our schedule a long time ago and I think we’re ready.”

Last weekend’s 4-3 loss to Notre Dame gave the team a sense of what exactly they’d need to do to upend a strong and deep opponent, Azcui said. The impending road trip gives the team an opportunity to see what it can do against elite programs like Tennessee and Kentucky.

“Notre Dame gave us the indication that we needed, we were so close there,” Azcui said. “We played good doubles and singles against Notre Dame for a while, but we couldn’t sustain that same level through the entire match.”

The day before IU’s loss to Notre Dame, sophomore Michelle McKamey fell in her singles match during a team win over James Madison University. The next day, McKamey was on the winning end against the Irish while the Hoosiers lost their second team match of the season.

“In such an individual sport, it’s hard to dissociate your own feelings about how you played your match from how the team played as a whole,” McKamey said. “It’s hard to get everyone to show up on the same day that everyone is playing well. Ideally that’s what happens, and hopefully we can rebound this weekend.”

This weekend the Hoosiers are tasked not only with facing two resilient SEC teams, but facing them on their home courts. 

The Wildcats have slowly moved up the Oracle/ITA Division I Women’s Rankings throughout this season. Tennessee began the season ranked before falling out of the poll this week. However, the Volunteers are one of five teams receiving votes in the poll.

For McKamey, this weekend’s slate of matches is more significant because of the destination. The sophomore is from Paduach, Kentucky, where most of her family of die-hard Kentucky fans live, she said. 

Though she never took any visits to Kentucky or Tennessee, McKamey was recruited by both schools. Her college decision did not align with her family’s Wildcat pride, but McKamey said she knew she’d be happy at IU because of its coaching staff and academic programs.

Friday’s match against Tennessee begins at 11:30 a.m. while Sunday’s date with Kentucky is at 11 a.m.

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