Coach: Tennis team faces greater challenge this year

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    The women’s tennis team is set to return to action Saturday against the University of Virginia.

    The No. 25-ranked Horned Frogs will face off against the No. 41-Cavaliers in Charlottesville, Va. Last March, the Horned Frogs topped the Cavaliers by a score of 6-1.

    This time around it will be a little more difficult, head coach Jefferson Hammond said.

    “It will definitely be a tough battle this year, much tougher than last year,” Hammond said. “We’re a better team this year, but they are as well.”

    The team will lean heavily on two of its nationally-ranked players, junior Nina Munch-Soegaard and senior Macall Harkins, Hammond said. Munch-Soegaard will enter Saturday’s match ranked as the No. 12 singles player in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Regional rankings. Joining her is No. 49-ranked senior Macall Harkins.

    Harkins and teammate Anna Sydorska make up the No. 16-ranked doubles team. They are joined by the duo of Munch-Soegaard and sophomore Maria Babanova, Hammond said.

    The team will have to fight to be victorious this season, coach Hammond said.

    “It’s kind of like NFL football,” Hammond said. “Any given Sunday, teams can win.”

    The Horned Frogs will follow up Saturday’s match against Virginia with a match Sunday against the No. 22-ranked College of William & Mary. The Horned Frogs’ next home match will be Feb. 8 against No. 27-ranked Auburn University.

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