The NCAA tennis championships get underway Friday with regional play across the country.
On the women’s side, 8th seeded OSU hosts a 4-team regional that includes TU.
Entering the postseason, the Golden Hurricanee women’s tennis team is playing its best at the right time. It just took some time for all the pieces to come together.
“We’re kind of a diverse team. Sort of United Nations. They come from everywhere,” said head coach Dean Orford. “Unfortunately, tennis players are kind of selfish and we kind of have to change that, but they’re starting to gel and get the single mentality out.”
The team, with players from seven different countries, ended the season with five straight wins, capped off by an American Conference Championship. A big reason, the only senior – Ksenia Laskutova, who’s improved on and off the court.
“I was able to win many games on my serve and also my return. I was able to hold many games on my return and, as a leader, I was just trying to show, basically, just to do everything good I can do. Now, I was just trying to push myself as hard as I could,” said Laskutova.
Now, the Golden Hurrican are off to Stillwater to face a familiar opponent in NCAA play – LSU.
The last time they played them, they were up 3 matches to 1, but lost 4-3. Laskutova lost the deciding match, so that’s extra motivation for this weekend.
“It was one of the really hurtful losses for me because I was the one who was playing the deciding point and I was up 4-2 in the 3rd set,” she said. “So now I think we’re really motivated because of that.”
“We have no weaknesses, we have no holes in the lineup,” stated Orford. “One through 6, we’re a tough out now.”
TU faces LSU on Friday.