Women’s tennis looks for fourth straight win against rival SMU

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    TCU women’s tennis is riding two sets of winning streaks—a two-game streak on the season, and a three-game streak against crosstown rival SMU.

    The Horned Frogs (6-5) have beaten the Mustangs (7-2) every year for the past three seasons. Last year, TCU snagged the doubles point and nearly swept SMU in singles, routing the Mustangs 4-1.

    TCU leads the overall series 29-20.

    The rivals will meet again Thursday at 6 p.m. at the SMU Tennis Complex in Dallas, Texas, where the Mustangs are 7-0 this season.

    Those seven home wins kicked off SMU’s schedule, but the moment the Mustangs left Dallas, Texas, the losing streak began.

    The team took a road trip to face No. 12 Oklahoma State and No. 31 Oklahoma. Both matches left SMU scoreless, tacking two losses onto the Mustangs’ record.

    This week, SMU will be back at home, playing on a court where the team has not yet lost.

    Sophomore Dasha Sharapova and junior Hristina Dishkova top the team in singles with 16 wins apiece. Sharapova has lost six matches, while Dishkova has dropped 10.

    Dishkova, along with partner Holly Verner, lead the team in doubles with 17 wins and four losses. Verner has not been as successful in singles, with eight wins and 10 losses after falling to Oklahoma.

    If unranked SMU manages an upset against No. 27 TCU, the Frogs’ record will even out on what has been a shaky season. TCU had a 3-0 record at the beginning of the year.

    In February, the Frogs took a beating, losing four straight matches against ranked opponents. When TCU returned home however, the team won two in a row, beating No. 62 USF and No. 59 Tulsa.

    The wins weren’t enough to help the Frogs in the rankings though. The teamdropped 10 spots from No. 17 to No. 27.

    Still, TCU has been able to see improvement in doubles. The Frogs have been able to secure the doubles point for three consecutive matches.

    Freshman duo Palina Dubavets and Alexis Pereira remain the top performers, despite losing their last doubles match to Tulsa. The pair leads the team with a 13-7 record.

    In singles, senior Simona Parajova leads the team with 15 wins, having lost but four matches this season. Dubavets, too, has four losses. She follows closely behind Parajova with 14 wins.

    TCU faces a slate of Big 12 opponents after SMU, the first being Kansas State in Manhattan, Kansas, on March 13.

    Before that, the Frogs and Mustangs will clash on the court.

    TCU head coach Lee Taylor Walker said in a press release that his team will need more confidence in order to succeed.

    “We need everyone feeling good out there and having fun,” he said.