Tennis ready for C-USA Championship
University of Memphis graduate student Tiffany Welcher and the women’s tennis team play in the quarterfinal round of the C-USA Tournament in Houston, Texas today. photo By Joe Murphy | special to the daily helmsman
After a first round bye, the University of Memphis women's tennis team steps onto the court this afternoon to begin play in the Conference USA championships.
The four-day event got underway Thursday in the Lone Star state at the John E. Hoff Tennis Courts. The No. 10 seed University of Houston Cougars are the tournament host.
The Tigers received the No. 3 spot in the tournament behind No.1 Rice and No. 2 Tulsa. All three teams received first round byes. After the loss to Tulsa this past weekend, the Tigers fell in the national rankings released by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Tuesday from No. 28 to No. 33, while Rice held the No. 20 slot and Tulsa climbed from No. 26 to No. 24.
The loss against Tulsa marked the second time the Tigers fell to the Golden Hurricanes this season.
Head coach Lee Taylor Walker said Memphis and Tulsa are familiar with each other's style of play, but said his Tigers are deeper and plan to take advantage of this strength in the tournament.
"Tulsa is a great team and we always have hard-fought matches against them," Walker said. "Our girls are resilient and we feel very good about playing Tulsa outside at a neutral facility."
The Tigers face the winner of match five between the No. 11 seed East Carolina Pirates and No. 6 seed University of Central Florida Knights in the quarterfinals today at 2 p.m. If the Tigers win, they advance to the semifinals Saturday at 2 p.m.
Walker said it is going to take a lot of discipline and a relaxed and positive attitude on every point to win the C-USA Tournament.
Graduate student Tiffany Welcher, sophomore Alyssa Hibberd and freshman Caroline Wegner are all playing at a very high level right now, "which is a strength the Tigers bring into the tournament," Walker said.
"We have one or two players not as confident as them, but I think they will step up this weekend and contribute with a great attitude regardless of their play," he said.
The tournament format is single elimination for teams. The championship match is set for Sunday at 10 a.m.
The men's tennis team, host of the men's C-USA Tournament, faces the No. 7 seed University of Alabama at Birmingham today at 2 p.m. at Memphis University School. If the Tigers win, they play Saturday at noon in the semifinal round.
The championship match is slated for Sunday at 12 p.m. and admission is free. Live results for both the men and women's tournaments are located on the C-USA website.
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