Tennis team pushes toward road games after loss to SUU

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The tennis team is preparing for a four-game road trip after a 0-9 loss to Southern Utah University on Feb. 2.

The team starts off its week on Thursday against California State University, Los Angeles at 1 p.m. It also has games Friday against Brigham Young University-Hawaii, two games Saturday against Grand Canyon University and Arizona Christian University, and its last game Monday against University of California, San Diego.

“It’ll be a really good trip with a lot of really tough matches, so it’ll be a good experience,” head coach Eric Pelton said. “They [are] going to have to work hard, but we’re excited and it’ll help us focus.”

Sierra Smith, a sophomore elementary education major from Denton, Texas, said the coaches are mentally preparing the team for these games.

“Our assistant coach John said it’s going to be the best tennis that we’re ever going to play,” Smith said. “We have a lot of tough teams, but we’re resting and preparing.”

This trip will be challenging for the team because it faces multiple teams that are ranked nationally. Both Cal State LA and Grand Canyon are ranked top 15, and BYU-Hawaii is ranked No. 2 in the nation.

“These are tough teams, and they don’t give you anything for free,” Pelton said. “They’re going to have to hit a lot of balls and work for every point.”

Pelton said the team is working on its consistency, control and focus for these upcoming games.

“Having matches, one after another, is going to be really good—just to see where we are,” Pelton said.

Smith said the team will be able to compete against the tough competition.

“We just go out there and give it everything we have and we’re really aggressive—especially in doubles,” Smith said.

The team’s goal for this season is to qualify for the Conference Tournament.

“Our conference tournament is in Hawaii this year in the third week of April,” Pelton said. “Hopefully everything we’re doing is going to help us qualify for the tournament.”

The Red Storm faced SUU Feb. 2 where the team fell 0-9.

“Of course SUU is a very solid team,” Smith said. “They’re DI. When we played them we all came out and were hitting our shots and we were aggressive, but SUU could give one more ball back than we could.”

DSC’s best chance was when freshman Ashley Anderson battled SUU’s Madeline Skaras in the singles match and came up short 6-2 and 6-3.

The team starts on the road Thursday against Cal State LA at 1 p.m.