Freshman finding her way at right time for busy tennis team

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    The No. 21-ranked women’s tennis team, with up-and-coming freshman Gaby Mastromarino, looks to continue its recent strong play this weekend when it hosts North Carolina State University and a No.15 University of Miami squad at Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center on Saturday and Sunday.

    Mastromarino and the team are 3-2 this spring after topping Auburn University 4-3 nearly two weeks ago.

    Head coach Jefferson Hammond said Mastromarino has made a smooth transition to becoming a college tennis player, especially with the demands of school and shorter practice time.

    Hammond said she has gained confidence through her consistent play on the court.

    Mastromarino said there are things she has been working on to improve her game.

    “Just finding a balance between my power and consistency will probably go a long way for me”, Mastromarino said.

    Mastromarino said she gets along well with the whole team, both on and off the court, and that her teammates have made her and fellow freshmen Kayla Duncan feel like part of the team.

    TCU vs. N.C. State
    When: 1 p.m. Saturday
    Where: Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center

    Hammond said Mastromarino’s presence and effort has helped the team this year.

    “I think the team is stronger because of the friendships she has made and her willingness to always compete during practice”, Hammond said.

    The two matches this weekend will give the team and Mastromarino another chance to prove they can keep up their recent good play.

    TCU vs. Miami
    When: 11 a.m. Sunday
    Where: Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center

    Hammond said the key to the two matches this weekend is to come out strong.

    Miami moved its record to 8-1 with a win over a No. 5-ranked Stanford University team last weekend.

    “Miami has a reputation for mentally tough players”, Hammond said.

    The No.48 N.C. State Wolfpack dropped its record to 1-5 with the loss to Winthrop University on Saturday in Raleigh, N.C.

    The team will be on the road next Thursday at Texas Tech University before returning home to face the University of Alabama on Feb. 28.