Marshall University’s women’s tennis team hits the road this weekend to play the University of Cincinnati and West Virginia University.
The Herd travels after two home matches against Penn State University and Utah University.
Marshall beat Penn State Saturday 4-3 for the second season in a row.
The team lost its first home match of the spring season Monday, 4-3 to Utah.
In the Penn State match and the Utah match, sophomore Rachael Morales’ singles match determined the overall deciding point.
Morales said she looks forward to the road games this weekend.
“It’s always fun to play WVU because we have such a big rivalry, “ Morales said. “But we’re hoping and expecting to win. We’re expecting just to, go out and play well and just to support each other as teammates.”
Head coach John Mercer has been on Marshall’s tennis coaching staff since 1994, according to Marshall athletics.
Assistant coach and former Marshall tennis player Kellie Schmitt said in those years, the Herd may have lost to WVU one time, and she thinks the team plays a little bit harder because of the rivalry.
According to the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, after Monday’s loss against Utah, the Herd dropped from 55 to 70 the in national rankings.
Cincinnati and WVU are not currently ranked in the top 75.
Coach Schmitt said before the loss to Utah, the Herd was also ranked first in C-USA.
“I mean they’re two good matches, Cincinnati got better, if we compete well, we should be fine,” Schmitt said. “The same with WVU.”
Schmitt said the team hopes to win the road matches along with two road matches later in the season against Rice University and the University of Houston to climb back into higher rankings.
The Herd is 7-4 with six wins at home and only one win on the road.
“Hopefully we can get another two, get back on the roll again like before,” Schmitt said. “We have these two, and two matches next week before spring break.”
After the two road matches, the Herd is back home to play Miami University of Ohio and Winthrop University.
The Herd travels to a 4 p.m. match Friday in Concinnati and heads to face WVU at 9 a.m. Sunday in Morgantown.
Kasey Madden can be contacted at [email protected]