It’s been over two months since the IU women’s tennis team has competed, but it’s back in action this weekend as it plays in the IU Winter Invitational in Bloomington.
IU’s spring season will kick off the competition Saturday at 10 a.m. at the IU Tennis Center. The competition features Marquette University, Marshall University, Northern Illinois University, Wright State University and DePaul University.
In a season where four of IU’s eight players are freshmen, much of the fall was spent on IU maturing as a group and looking into possible doubles pairs, head coach Ramiro Azcui said.
“Overall, (the fall) went as good as we were hoping,” Azcui said. “The players adjusted well, and they are still going through some adjustment periods.”
This weekend’s event will run from Saturday through Monday. Singles and doubles matches between each the schools will take place during all three days. This will be the IU's only tournament until the Big Ten Championships in April.
For a team that has had some significant time off from the court, the team appreciates having a home tournament to get back in the swing of things.
“It has always helped me in the past just because you’re coming off being at home,” senior Caitlin Bernard said.
Bernard, one of two seniors on the team, she takes pride in helping mesh all of the new players onto the team.
“I think that everyone got accustomed quickly, and it’s fun to have so many new people,” she said. “I’ve enjoyed helping them with everything.”
With the heavy dose of newcomers to IU’s roster, there are still four upperclassmen that played their fair share of college tennis. Those four are seniors Bernard and Annabelle Andrinopoulous, along with juniors Jelly Bozovic and Michelle McKamey.
Before dual matches begin on Jan. 25, the Hoosiers will travel to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, to take on the University of Alabama.
“Having a tournament like this where they are just kind of working on some individual things to get ready, I think it definitely helps before you start the dual match season,” Azcui said. “It gives us another opportunity to see what the players can do and get back in that competitive mode.
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