LSU women's tennis is attending an invitational hosted by TCU this weekend, where they will compete for the first time in over six months. The teams attending are Texas, Baylor, Oklahoma, North Texas, Arkansas and, of course, LSU.
After finishing last season 10-3 and keeping every player, the team should be able to maintain the same high-level play they displayed last season. The question isn’t ‘are they talented?’, it’s ‘how much better have they gotten?’
That question may not be answered immediately, as the team will obviously be shaking off the rust that’s been building up since March. But Coach Michael Sell seems confident that it won’t affect them heavily.
“You can see the work they’ve put in,” Sell said regarding having the team back in practice. “Everyone really wanted to come back, be the best versions of themselves and see how everything plays out.”
With cancellations and postponements being a regular for sports this fall, it certainly will be interesting to see how everything plays out. But with this invitational just a few days away, we should get to see a little bit of what this team can accomplish.
It’s difficult to predict how this weekend will go with it being so long since these teams have competed. The team seems both a little unsure and optimistic, with seniors Paris Corley and Eden Richardson each stating that the team has prepared well.
“I don’t know if we’re expecting a lot because we haven’t played in six months,” Corley said. “But I think the way we’ve been preparing up to this point is good.”
According to Richardson, the team has been holding practice matches at least three times a week, in preparation for the matches this weekend.
“Even though we haven’t been competing against other teams, we’ve been competing against each other," Richardson stated. “It’s been very competitive. I don’t think this will be too much of a new thing.”
They are doing the best they can, given the current situation. And with the team being a top-25 caliber team at least, it isn't difficult to imagine the team improving as a result of inner competition.
Despite all the uncertainties that have come with this season, the Tigers are just excited to be able to play alongside their teammates again. Richardson and Corley each missed the intense, high-energy atmosphere that this team gives off.
“From a team aspect, everyone is excited to get back to competing,” Corley said. “I think the atmosphere will be filled with high intensity and energy with everyone being eager to get back.”
An electric atmosphere coupled with strong work ethics and preparation are a difficult combination to defeat. The Tigers will bring all of that and more this season, starting in Fort Worth on Friday.