|Niners prep for back-to-back matches this weekend|
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Charlotte women’s tennis team will get back on the courts this weekend, playing on consecutive days Friday and Saturday, but in different locations, against a pair of in-state opponents. The 49ers open the stretch with a road trip to Buies Creek, N.C., to face Campbell Friday before welcoming Western Carolina to the Halton-Wagner Tennis Complex. Both contests are slated to start at 2 p.m.
“We play two tough teams in Campbell and Western Carolina,” head coach Michaela Gorman said. “We are excited to get on the courts and compete each day.”
Charlotte owns a 4-8 overall ledger entering Friday’s meeting with the Camels after dropping road contests to No. 73 Samford and UAB last weekend in Birmingham, Ala. A trio of Niners, sophomore Tyler Baker and juniors Lisa Grosselius and Natsuko Takayanagi, paces the squad with six singles wins apiece. Nipping at their heels, however, is Macy Vonderschmidt who has won her last four, a team season-best run, to raise her total to five in her first season as a collegian.
Vonderschmidt is also part of the 49ers’ most successful doubles pairing, competing with sophomore Jessica Pérez. Overall, Vonderschmidt and Takayanagi each top the team with four doubles victories. Pérez is next with three triumphs to her credit.
Campbell is 8-5 on during the spring and will face Radford Thursday prior to playing host to Charlotte. The Camels, coached by David Johnson, have won their last three, including a 7-0 victory over Longwood Saturday. During the run, they have lost only one point to move above .500 this season.
Two players have reached the double-digit win plateau in singles action, led by Tamara Stanic’s 11 triumphs. Karolina Chernaya’s 10 victories have been buoyed by a current four-match win streak.
Stanic and her partner in doubles, Natasha Afridi, set the tone with nine triumphs, including five-in-a-row.
Campbell leads the all-time series 7-6, though the Niners earned a 4-3 victory in last year’s meeting in Charlotte. The two teams are an even 3-3 in Buies Creek.
Western Carolina owns a 1-9-1 mark under the direction of Michaela Kissell-Eddins and will face North Carolina Central at home Friday before arriving in Charlotte.
Stacia Kissell, sister of the head coach, tops the Catamounts with a 10-1 singles record as well as forming one-half of the winningest doubles tandem with Shannon Bettiol.
The 49ers have captured wins in the last 15 contests with Western Carolina, improving to 15-1 in the series. Charlotte blanked the Catamounts, 7-0, in the last meeting during the 2012 campaign and is 9-1 all-time when the two programs have squared off in the Queen City.
Saturday’s home match will also open a stretch of three straight at the on-campus facility for the 49ers.