By Sam Bartee
The spring season of Wildcat tennis begins next week when the women’s team scrimmages Monday and Tuesday.
The women’s team will compete in separate events next week, including matches with Division I-AA opponents Stephen F. Austin and Sam Houston State. The Wildcats have a lot to live up to this season after a great season last year. However, the Wildcats are undergoing a youth movement this season, with three freshmen on the team.
The top positions on the women’s team are likely to be filled by returning stars Jaclyn Walker and Dina Pavlin. The duo finished third in the nation last season in women’s doubles, but they don’t expect increased pressure as a result of last season’s success.
“There’s no real pressure on me, and even if there was, I play well under pressure,” Walker said. “I’ve been thrown in situations before, and I don’t really think about it. I just go out and play my best.”
The women’s team will have a lot to live up to next season, following its final four appearance in 2009; however, the men’s team will also be interesting to watch. The Wildcats lost several seniors last season, but Head Coach Hutton Jones anticipates many young players will surprise fans.
“I don’t like describing this as a rebuilding year in the sense of only looking towards next season, but rebuilding where the seniors left and restoring the identity of the team,” Jones said.
Jones said he thinks once midseason hits and the team has a few matches under its belt, it will be a great season for the men’s team, as well.