Women's Tennis Prepares for Busy Week
Sept. 28, 2011
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The Memphis women's tennis team is gearing up for a busy week as all seven players will be competing in two different events beginning Friday. Four Tigers have been invited to participate in the 2011 Riviera/ITA Women's All-American Championships while three others will be playing in the UTC Steve Baras Fall Classic hosted by UT Chattanooga.
Junior standout Courtney Collins, ranked No. 78 nationally, will begin play in the Singles Qualifying Draw of the All-American Championships at the Riviera Tennis Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif., on Tuesday. She will also be pairing with fellow junior Kelly Gray to compete in the Doubles Pre-Qualifying Draw on Saturday. Teammates Mariya Slupska and Stefanie Mikesz will also be playing in the Doubles Pre-Qualifying Draw while Slupska begins her run in the Singles Pre-Qualifying Draw the same day. Should any of the four advance, main draw play is scheduled to start on Thursday, Oct. 6.
"If our team wants to start considering itself among the best in the country, it's necessary that we start going deep and winning tournaments such as these," said Memphis head coach Lee Taylor Walker. "The last two years, it was about getting experience and getting used to the environment. Now it's about believing we belong and executing the shots and patterns we know that we can under pressure."
Three Tigers will be staying a little closer to home for the week as Alyssa Hibberd, Tiffany Welcher and Andrea Arques-Garcia compete in the UTC Steve Baras Fall Classic. The tournament begins on Friday and runs for three days through the weekend. The event will be especially important for newcomer Welcher and Hibberd to show what they can contribute to the Memphis squad.
"This tournament will be good preparation for the USTA/ITA Regional Championships coming up in two weeks," said Walker. "I'm looking for Tiffany and Alyssa to compete in the top flight of doubles in Chattanooga. I have been really impressed with them as a team and think they have a lot of potential. This will be a good test to see where they stack up against some mid-major number ones. For singles, I am excited for Andrea, Alyssa and Tiffany to get more matches. I forecast them to get pushed at this tournament but to come out on top."