The Tennessee women’s tennis team currently holds a 1-2 record, with a win against Purdue and losses coming against nationally ranked foes No. 13 Clemson and No. 11 Michigan.
The Lady Vols, however, have a chance to improve that record this weekend in Knoxville at the Goodfriend Tennis Center.
Tennessee will host Georgia Tech Saturday at noon, then host a doubleheader this Sunday against Belmont and Chattanooga at 11 a.m and 4 p.m with a good opportunity to add some wins to the win column.
However, UT co-head coach Mike Patrick emphasized that one of his big goals this weekend is to see improvement from his young team.
“Wins and losses are going to take care of themselves once we take care of what we need to do,” Patrick said. “We have a lot to do and that is what we are looking for, see if we are making some improvement.”
Patrick also stated that one of the overall goals of the season was to develop the six freshmen on the roster and to give them experience. He will have the opportunity to accomplish these goals this weekend.
“Every match we play is going to help us,” Patrick said. “This whole season is about improving, turning freshmen into sophomores and experience players. That is what we are doing.”
Patrick stated that he has observed that playing great competition leads to improvement. While both Belmont and Chattanooga are unranked, Georgia Tech is ranked No. 19 in the nation, giving the Lady Vols another highly-ranked opponent to play as well as an opportunity to learn what they need to work on.
Junior Joanna Henderson also said that her team learned some lessons in their last match against Michigan.
“It definitely showed us the next level,” Henderson said. “That is kind of where we need to be and obviously we have a young team, but I think that is not far. The team score was, you know, a bit of a washout, but the individual matches were a lot closer.”
Henderson detailed the areas the team needs to improve in during the matches this weekend, saying everyone on courts 1-6 need to be disciplined and focused.
She also expressed her excitement and confidence about the upcoming matches this weekend in Knoxville.
“I am really excited,” Henderson said. “We have had a good week of practice so far and it is just about looking forward to the challenge on Saturday against Georgia Tech, but it is definitely a winnable match. It just takes everyone coming out and focusing and playing well.”