Despite dropping its opening Big Ten conference matchup to Ohio State three weeks ago, the No. 37 Penn State’s women’s tennis team (10-1, 0-1) remains confident that it can still make some noise in the conference.
And after dismantling the College of Charleston, 5-2, the weekend after its first loss of the season, it’s easy to see why.
“The Charleston matchup was a nice rebound for us,” coach Dawna Denny said. “We weren’t discouraged by the Ohio State loss. Of course our ultimate goal is to win, and we feel that if we execute and play our game those wins will come.”
The team had off the most recent weekend, resting up for its remaining schedule that’s exclusively conference play.
The team travels to face No. 38 Indiana on Friday and then No. 21 Purdue on Sunday.
The Hoosiers are riding high after beating No. 2 Duke, 5-2, last weekend, and will be a tough test to open the weekend.
“The competition is always tough in the conference, every year.” Denny said.
The Lions will look to some key contributors during the matchups.
Freshman Jacqueline Zuhse has been sensational so far this season, winning eight of her last 10 out of the No. 3 singles spot.
“Zuhse has really blossomed,” Denny said. “She’s worked her way up to that spot. A really tough competitor. She’s just been playing the right way.”
In addition to Zuhse, the Lions have been bolstered by junior Carmen Sandor. Sandor, who had an up and down season as a sophomore, has worked her way to a 6-5 record this spring.
“Carmen, she’s putting it all together,” Denny said. “She’s a bit further down the lineup, but she’s had some absolutely huge wins for us. Huge wins. Against some great competition, too. She’s been a part of our success so far.”
After this weekend, the Lions will return to State College for only their fifth home match of the season against Iowa.
But the sights are firmly set on this weekend.
“If we execute we’ll do well,” Denny said.