Women's Tennis Prepares to Host Two C-USA Opponents This Weekend;
April 11, 2001
Memphis, Tenn. - - When the University of Memphis women's tennis team (10-10, 1-1) welcomes Cincinnati and No. 61 UAB to town this weekend, they will be trying to stay at the .500 mark for the regular season in order to get a favorable seed for the Conference USA Championships, which begins Apr. 19th. But in addition to wrapping up the regular season, the Lady Tigers will also see two stellar collegiate tennis careers wrap up as well.
"They're both playing the best tennis of their careers right now," Head Coach Charlotte Peterson said. "They're both peaking at the right time and even though we have tough competition this weekend, I think they're prepared and are looking forward to playing."
Ladyman, a native of Perth, Australia, is a second-generation Tiger, having come to Memphis where her dad, Henry, played his collegiate tennis. He was inducted into the Tiger Hall of Fame in 1992. Ladyman also has a cousin, Jim, who played collegiate tennis for the Tigers. But she has definitely made her own mark while suiting up for the Lady Tigers, winning 93 career singles matches, just seven shy of the school record held by Annika Ewaldson, who was inducted into the Tiger Hall of Fame in the last class of inductees.
"Tina really is the best player I have coached since I have been here," Peterson said. "She has fewer singles wins, but all of Tina's wins came at No. 1 and Annika had some of her wins at No. 3 and 5. So for someone to have close to 100 career singles wins at No. 1, she's easily the best singles player to come along here in a while."
A three-time second-team All-Conference player, Ladyman is currently 12-7 after Tuesday's win at Arkansas-Little Rock. In order for her to reach the 100-career win mark, she would need to get wins over two very tough opponents this weekend and then would need the Lady Tigers to advance deep into the Conference USA Championships.
"She's just playing such beautiful tennis right now," Peterson said. "It's all come together for her and if anything, she's more nervous now than she's ever been in the past. I'm having to say things like relax to her and that isn't her, usually I have to get her to fire up."
But Ladyman is just one half of a senior class that has made a mark at Memphis. Betsy Card, a native of Terre Haute, Ind., came to Memphis after an impressive prep career where she went 72-6, setting a school record for singles wins (72). Card worked especially hard on her conditioning in the off-season and entered the fall season in the best shape of her college career.
"This is by far the best season of Betsy's career," Peterson said. "She worked hard on her conditioning and it has paid off."
Indeed it has paid off, as Card's 12 singles wins this season are her career-high for a single spring season. Card is 12-8 at No. 3 singles, where she has had some battles, and is a solid 8-8 at No. 2 doubles with teammate Annika Westberg.
Memphis will host Cincinnati at 2:30 p.m., Friday, before hosting No. 61 UAB, Saturday, at 2 p.m. on the HPER Courts at the corner of Spottswood and Echles on the campus of the University of Memphis. Admission is free.