The ACU women’s tennis team is back in action this weekend with two matches on Saturday. The Wildcats will host Nicholls State University in the morning and McNeese State University in the second match of the day. Both games are part of the Southland Conference regular season schedule.
Nicholls currently sits fifth in the conference standings with a record of 4-2 and 10-5 overall, just one win ahead of the Wildcats at 3-2 and 11-4 overall.
Both teams will be looking to bounce back from recent losses. The Colonels had a five-match winning streak snapped last weekend at the hands of Texas A&M Corpus Christi, losing 3-4 in a tightly contested match.
ACU did not compete last weekend, but is coming off a disappointing pair of matches the previous weekend, which saw the team drop consecutive 3-4 decisions on home court to Northwestern State University and Stephen F. Austin University. Both teams were near the top of the conference standings, and the opposition this weekend will be no different.
“I think having the weekend off was a benefit to get some rest and have some down time,” said sophomore Nada Marjanovic. “We were able to take ourselves out of tennis mode for the weekend and just relax and have time to train on our own and prepare for this weekend’s matches. We are really looking to redeem ourselves to try to get wins on the board.”
Marjanovic leads the Wildcats with a 12-3 record in singles play, and will likely match up at the No. 5 position against Colonels’ Isla Brock, who holds her own impressive 11-1 record.
The afternoon portion of the doubleheader will feature the McNeese Cowgirls, who currently sits in second place in the conference with a 6-1 record and 11-5 overall. The Cowgirls’ most recent match was a 7-0 drubbing of Incarnate Word.
ACU will need to use its strong doubles play to get a jump on the opposition in both matches. The Wildcats have picked up the doubles point in 12 of 15 matches this season.
“We need to be aggressive in our doubles play from the beginning. The teams are [going to] bring tough competition so we have to be willing to take the heat and bring back better competition,” said sophomore Kaysie Hermsdorf.
Hermsdorf and her sister, Micah, a senior, have been an integral part of the Wildcats’ success. The pairing is 13-1 in their doubles matches this year.
“Playing with my sister has been an absolute blast,” said Kaysie Hermsdorf. “We mix well on the court, our attitudes and style of play go well with each other. Getting to play with my sister at this level of competition, you can say has taken something off my check list because I’ve always wanted it to happen. She is graduating this year and playing with her I’ve seen how much we have grown to be best friends and that she always has my back. It’s going to be extremely sad to not have her on the team for my last two years.”
In the meantime, the Hermsdorf sisters will be aiming to help put the Wildcats back in the win column. Victories this weekend could prove the team belongs at or near the top of the Southland Conference.
The opening match against Nicholls is scheduled for Saturday at 10 a.m. at the Eager Tennis Pavilion on campus. The afternoon match against McNeese will start at 2:30 p.m.