Tennis Prepares For First Conference Match
GREENSBORO-The North Carolina A&T women's tennis team has a busy weekend planned. The Aggies (0-2) will host Wofford at 1 p.m., on Saturday at the Piedmont Indoor Tennis Center, and then will hit the road on Saturday night to take on conference opponent Savannah State, Sunday at 2 p.m.
The Wofford Terriers are 0-1 to start the season, after being swept by Winthrop on the road. The Savannah State Tigers are 0-2, losing to Florida Atlantic and Jacksonville University. They will host their home opener on Sunday against the Aggies. The Tigers were picked to finish last in the MEAC Southern Division this season, behind the Aggies.
When the Aggies met the Terriers on Jan. 29, 2011, A&T was swept by Wofford, 7-0. But the Aggies defeated Savannah State on the road last season, 5-1. Head coach James Dunwoody is expecting another competitive match with the Terriers on Saturday, and hopes to start MEAC play off with a win against the Tigers.
"Wofford is at the same level as our first two opponents," he said. "They are a very, very competitive tennis team. My expectations are to make sure that my doubles teams play a whole lot more aggressive and get to the net as much as possible to put more pressure on them."
He added that he will mix up his starting singles lineup to play to his strengths against a tough Wofford team.
"I will put Cayla (Cross) at one and Azeib (Nigatu) at two. I'll put my best up front and see how they do playing up front. I will put Kimberly (Stalling) at four and Kenya (Colbert) at three," he added.
In the team's last match, the first four singles players were Colbert, Stalling, Cross and Nigatu. Nianna Henry and April Burrage round out the singles starters for the Aggies.
The Aggies have been preparing all week in practice to step up their game to prepare for taking on a tough Terriers team, and getting their first conference win of the year.
"We're getting ready for Sunday. We're having a good week in practice, and we're working on issues that we had in Boone, with having a more attackable doubles teams," Dunwoody said. "In singles, we're working on how to the hit the ball to the right spot to win the point. Situational tennis has been the theme of the week."
Dunwoody added that the team's volleying has been solid in competition, but that the team has been missing balls that they have to hit to win the point. Eliminating those problems has been his emphasis in practice this week.
"At the end of the day, our eyes are on Sunday," Dunwoody said.