It may not be the battle for the Iron Skillet, but today’s tennis match against SMU still has all the makings of a cross-town rivalry.Head coach Dave Borelli said beating a team so close to home is always a bonus.
“We’re not in the same conference, but it’s nice to beat a team in your own hometown, or near it,” Borelli said. “It’s a good rivalry … It’s bragging rights for the Metroplex.”
Senior Helena Besovic said some of the Horned Frogs are already familiar with SMU’s athletes.
“I think most of the players from around here know each other,” Besovic said. “But there is still pressure.”
TCU also faced the Mustangs last year on Feb. 19, winning 6-1 and taking eight of nine matches during the day. Besovic said this SMU team is much improved from last year’s squad.
“We played them last year,” Besovic said. “But this year they have a better team.”
Borelli said the Mustangs have become a deeper team in the offseason.
“They’re pretty good,” Borelli said. “They’re solid through the lineup. It’s the best team we’ve played outside of the indoor tournament.”
Today will also mark the Frogs’ first outdoor match of the semester. Borelli said the team will use its matches as a learning experience for the rest of the season.
“We have to focus on ourselves,” Borelli said. “It’s our first outdoor match. It’ll be good for us … good preparation for Baylor (on Feb. 22).”
Besovic said the switch from indoors to outdoors does involve some changes.
“It’s going to be interesting,” Besovic said. “We’ve gotten used to playing indoors. The ball goes faster – we’ve been practicing for it.”
Though the team began the semester battling injuries to key players, Borelli said the squad’s depth is easing the healing process.
“It’s a long year,” Borelli said. “We have a lot of good players and solid team depth. It’s important to take things slow.