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Three things to know before IU women’s tennis plays three weekend matches



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Junior Jelly Bozovic competes with her doubles partner senior Annabelle Adrinopoulos on Feb. 2 in the IU Tennis Center. IU will compete against the United States Naval Academy on the road Feb. 7. Izzy Myszak

The IU women’s tennis team has a three-match weekend coming up starting with the United States Naval Academy at 1 p.m. Friday in Annapolis, Maryland. IU is back in Bloomington on Sunday to play the University of Tennessee at 11 a.m. and Eastern Michigan University at 4 p.m.

Ahead of IU’s three matches, here are three things to know.

Doubles progression

Senior Caitlin Bernard said finding doubles pairings and chemistry has been tough on the team since the roster features five newcomers, four of whom are true freshmen.

“Our doubles is still not completely set,” IU head coach Ramiro Azcui said. “We’re still trying to find a few things. Everybody is helping each other out.”

So far this season, doubles play has been a strong sign of success or failure in IU’s matches. In its three wins, IU has secured the doubles point, whereas it has lost every match when it hasn’t.

“I think finally on Sunday we played good doubles,” Bernard said. “Every match we get better. It’s just more matches that we need.”

Unfamiliar territory

Friday will be Azcui’s first time taking any of his teams to the Naval Academy.

“It’s such a neat experience to be able to be at the Naval Academy,” Azcui said. “It’s going to be completely unknown for us.”

IU has experience playing on the road. Two weekends ago, it traveled to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and lost to the University of Alabama and beat the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Now, it looks to continue to build on its road experience ahead of the conference season.

“My goal is to learn how to play on the road,” Azcui said. “Once Big Ten comes around, it’s going to be hard to always adjust to playing on the road.”

More doubleheaders

IU beat Xavier University and Western Michigan last Sunday in a doubleheader. This weekend, another one awaits, and it won’t be the last.

Ahead of last weekend’s doubleheader, assistant coach Ryan Miller said fatigue would be an interesting factor to monitor in IU’s second match Sunday against Western Michigan. Bernard said he was happy with the team’s performance.

“I think people were a little tired at the beginning, but I tried to keep that energy up,” Bernard said. “We got through some close matches pretty easily, and it could’ve gone bad if we didn’t have a lot of energy.”

Tennessee, IU’s opponent in the morning match Sunday, beat IU last season 5-2. IU did not face Eastern Michigan last season, which sits at 1-2.

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