CHARLOTTE, N.C. –
The Charlotte women’s tennis team will head to Birmingham, Ala., for a pair of matches this weekend as it resumes competition after having more than week off. The 49ers will face No. 73 Samford at 2 p.m. Friday before traveling across town to meet UAB at Noon Saturday in their first regular-season Conference USA match of the campaign.
“We’re looking forward to our road trip and two great days of competition,” head coach Michaela Gorman
said. “Samford and UAB are both strong teams and we will have to show up ready to play.”
Charlotte has not been on the courts for a dual match since knocking off Mercer 5-2 March 5, extending its home win streak to three and improving to 4-6 overall this spring. Juniors Lisa Grosselius
and Natsuko Takayanagi
pace the squad with four singles victories apiece and the pair shares the overall team lead with six wins with sophomore Tyler Baker
, which includes the fall tournament season. Baker and freshman Macy Vonderschmidt
have tallied three singles triumphs each this spring.
Ten different doubles combinations have taken to the courts for Gorman. Takayanagi and Vonderschmidt each own a team-high four wins, playing with four and three partners, respectively.
Samford, the first nationally-ranked foe this spring for the 49ers, carries a 9-1 record into Friday’s meeting, having won its last seven, including a 3-0 start to the Southern Conference slate. The lone setback on the schedule was to No. 21 Auburn.
The Bulldogs are particularly strong in the middle of the singles lineup, as they boast a combined 25-4 ledger from the No. 2-4 positions, including a perfect 9-0 start by two-time SoCon Player of the Week Yasmeen Ebada. Stephanie N'tcha holds a No. 115 national ranking in the latest ITA singles listings.
Samford has won both of the previous two meetings, which came in 2010 and 2011. The 2010 matchup was played in Birmingham.
UAB enters Saturday’s contest with a 5-8 mark and a 0-3 start to the C-USA season.
The Blazers have lost their last four, including a 5-2 setback to South Alabama Saturday in their most recent outing. Pardis Kianoush tops the squad with seven singles triumphs.
UAB leads the all-time series 8-1, though it has won just the last two after the 49ers collected their lone victory in 2004. The last time the two programs met was in 2010.
It will mark the Niners’ first foray back into Conference USA, after last competing in the league in 2005. Charlotte is scheduled to only play three league regular-season matches, with the other two coming against Middle Tennessee and East Carolina, both at the Halton-Wagner Tennis Complex.