Huskies finish up promising first half of season
Published: Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, October 2, 2012 22:10
As UConn women’s tennis reaches the midway point in the fall season, the performances by the team thus far are showing signs that it will be a season to remember.
Sophomore Maxie Weinberg won her singles flight at the Quinnipiac Invitational, one of only four UConn players to win in any of the singles flights in past five years at that competition. At the Army Invitational, a total of seven competitors and tandems advanced to the quarterfinals of their singles or doubles flights, not to mention freshman Alex Bergman won her consolation flight, a feat that Weinberg accomplished last year as well. This stunning performance at Army is easily the Huskies’ best showing in the past five years at the competition.
Singles play has really been the focus for the team this fall season, where the successes have not been as consistent as they have been in the doubles play.
“I think we’re gonna surprise ourselves,” said McKeon. “I think we’re better than we think we are.”
If there is one thing the players can agree on, it is that doubles play has proven to be the most successful for them this season. With a near victory in doubles at Quinnipiac and strong performances at Army in the doubles flights, the team has shown that their strength is in tandems. Both McKeon and junior Learmonth said that the chemistry on the team this season has been stronger than ever before in their careers. That chemistry is clearly being transferred onto the court in the doubles matches.
“Having played with Maxie [Weinberg] last season, we’re just able to build upon what we have,” said Learmonth. “Now we’re able to work more on the little, itty bitty parts, like we’re moving at the net together, communication. All of that’s just being improved every single day we practice.”
To McKeon, this season—her senior season—is filled with the hope of helping to bring success to the team she has spent the last three years of her life working with. She has been playing tennis since she was 4 years old, competing in the United States Tennis Association Junior Tournaments as well as for her high school team. Having been injured during the fall season last year, McKeon is hoping to make the most of her last days with the team. She believes that through the rest of the fall season and the spring season the Huskies will truly excel.
“The chemistry on the team is awesome right now,” said McKeon. “I think we’re doing a lot better than we did last year. We’re supporting each other a lot better and the toughness and the will to get through tough matches is definitely better than in past seasons.”
The team will compete in a pair of home matches, the first of which will be held on Thursday against UMass. The second match will pit the team against Quinnipiac next Wednesday before they return to competition play across the region. The final two tournaments of the season will be the New England and Regional Championships, where the Huskies will be given one final chance to shine before the winter hiatus.
At the halfway point, the fall season has been nothing less than a success for the women’s tennis team thus far. Marshall’s squad has remained focused and, if they continue to maintain that focus, there is no reason not to believe that they will be incredibly successful down the stretch.
“We all have to be focused [on reaching the Big East Tournament] and give 110 percent every practice,” said Learmonth. “That’s the thing we have to work every single time we’re on the court. We just gotta keep that long term goal in focus.”