Women’s tennis team to battle three conference rivals

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    The No. 28-ranked women’s tennis team returns home this weekend to play three matches against conference opponents, with the expectation to win all three, the team’s coach said.

    “Based on the rankings, we’re favored to win all three,” head coach Jefferson Hammond said. “Our expectation is to do that, but we have to get out there and earn it.”

    The team plays the No. 49-ranked University of Utah on Friday, No. 57-ranked Brigham Young University on Saturday and the University of New Mexico on Sunday, all at the Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center.

    The Horned Frogs (7-9, 1-1 MWC) are coming off of a tough loss to then-No. 71-ranked UNLV and sit in fourth place in the Mountain West Conference.

    “Hopefully we can win all three,” freshman Kayla Duncan said. “We want it extremely bad, especially after losing to UNLV. We want to be back on top of conference.”

    Women’s Tennis
    TCU vs. Utah: 2 p.m. Friday
    TCU vs. BYU: 2 p.m. Saturday
    TCU vs. New Mexico: 10 a.m. Sunday
    Where: Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center

    The team has two players ranked nationally: No. 13 junior Nina Munch-Soegaard and No. 86 senior Macall Harkins. Also, sophomore Idunn Hertzberg has won her past five matches and posted a 5-1 record in March, the best on the team.

    “I had a rough start in the beginning of the season, but it’s gotten a lot better and I’m playing well,” Hertzberg said. “I’m excited to come out and play this weekend.

    The team also has two of its three doubles tandems nationally ranked with the No. 24-ranked duo of Harkins and senior Anna Sydorska and the No. 77-ranked pair of Munch-Soegaard and sophomore Maria Babanova.

    “We feel really good about our doubles combination and doubles strategy,” Hammond said.

    The team goal is still to win the conference tournament, Hammond said. The Horned Frogs hope to win the conference regular season but need a couple of teams to lose for that to happen, he said.

    “The regular season isn’t in our hands right now,” Hammond said. “We just have to come out strong and see how the cards fall.”