The women’s tennis team will complete the regular season Wednesday evening against the No. 14 Baylor Bears after earning a share of the Mountain West Conference title.After shutting out opponents for the third straight match, the No. 36 Horned Frogs (16-8, 7-1) matched No. 27 BYU’s in-conference record (18-6, 7-1) to clinch a tie for first place in the Mountain West.
“We are really excited and very happy,” said head tennis coach Jeff Hammond about winning a share of the regular-season conference championship. “It is a big deal to become conference champion, whether you share the title or not.”
Last season, the Frogs went 8-0 in conference play to win the regular-season-conference title outright.
“Last year, we had a full team, and this year we only have six players” senior Ana Cetnik said. “Emotionally its harder, but the girls are playing well.”
Now the Frogs must look ahead to the last regular season match against the Bears (17-6, 9-1).
“They are very solid,” Hammond said. “But we are capable of winning against them. Tomorrow, if we were to win, it would be very special to the team and really special for me because it will be my first victory against Baylor since being at TCU.”
The team lost to the Bears 5-2 at home Feb. 27.
“I think if we keep things light, stay very positive and not worry about so many technical things, we will have a better result,” Hammond said.
Cetnik, the team’s captain, said there is a sense of familiarity playing a team twice in one season.
“We kind of know their line-up and the players they are going to put against us,” said Cetnik, who is No. 42 in the nation in singles play. “And you know how they play, so before the match, you can make some adjustments.”
The Horned Frogs have been playing some of their best tennis of late, winning nine out of the last 10 matches and winning the last three home matches. They are 7-0 against conference opponents.
“We are playing as well as we have played as a unit,” Hammond said. “Hopefully, that will carry over to tomorrow against Baylor.”
This will be the last match for the Frogs before the Mountain West Conference tournament. Hammond said that playing a strong opponent, such as Baylor, will help prepare the team for the postseason.
“It is going to really help us,” Hammond said. “We know that we can play with them and are capable of winning that match. Going out and hopefully winning the match will give us a lot of confidence going into the Mountain West Conference tournament.”
The regular-season finale will be Wednesday night at 6 p.m. in Waco.