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Three things to know before IU women’s tennis travels to Alabama



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Redshirt senior Caitlin Bernard hits the ball following her opponent’s serve Sept. 29 at the IU Tennis Center. IU will play the University of Alabama on Saturday in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Izzy Myszak

IU will travel this weekend and take on the University of Alabama and the University of Alabama at Birmingham Saturday in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

The match against Alabama is set to start at 10 a.m., with the match against UAB scheduled at 2 p.m. Ahead of this weekend’s matches, here are three things to know:

IU’s first road test

With five newcomers on this year’s roster, including four true freshmen, IU head coach Ramiro Azcui said how important maturity and becoming acclimated to college tennis will be for his team this season.

With the first weekend of competitive indoor tennis now over, IU will be tasked with playing on the road for the first time this year. Not only that, but while having to play Alabama, who Azcui says is a top 35 team in the nation.

Doubles pairings prove successful

Azcui said he spent much of the fall searching for potential doubles combinations, and a few stood out after after the team's first competition of the season.

Freshmen Rose Hu and Mila Mejic went 4-0 together at the IU Winter Invitational on Jan. 18-20. Freshman Lexi Kubas and junior Michelle McKamey also went 4-0 as doubles partners.

Alabama’s experience

Unlike IU, Alabama’s upperclassmen outnumber its underclassmen, and half of its players are seniors. It’s a contrast to an IU roster that is made up of four freshmen and a graduate transfer.

So far this season, the Crimson Tide have yet to lose a match. They beat both Kennesaw State University and Alabama A&M University this past Sunday.

Alabama’s talent, experience and home court advantage should make for a significant early season challenge for the visiting IU women’s tennis team this weekend.

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