SUU cancels upcoming match with DSC tennis
Published: Monday, April 9, 2012
Updated: Monday, April 9, 2012 14:04
The Dixie State College women’s tennis team shifted its focus to matches in California after Southern Utah University canceled the upcoming match between the two teams.
The Red Storm and the Thunderbirds were set for a Friday afternoon matchup in Cedar City, but SUU backed out to ensure that its players would have adequate time to prepare for the conference championship tournament.
Head coach Eric Pelton said cancellations this season have been tough for the team because players lose an opportunity to play.
“That’s been the hardest thing is just not getting those matches in,” Pelton said. “They did well the first part of the season. Then we got into the middle of the season, and we just kind of got shut down in a sense.”
The Red Storm are no strangers to schedule changes because they already dealt with four matches being canceled in March due to inclement weather.
Junior Allison Long, a general education major from West Jordan, said the first cancellations were frustrating because the team was stuck in California and unable to play.
“We [went] to California for a whole week and [played] one match and [got] rained out the rest of the week,” Long said. “It was very frustrating. We’re there to play tennis and to compete and we can’t.”
Fortunately for the Red Storm, the most recent cancellation will not culminate in a total loss of a game. The opening in the schedule will allow them to make up two of the rained-out matches the following week in California.
The Red Storm will take on Mills College Tuesday in Oakland, Calif., and Notre Dame de Namur University on Wednesday in Belmont, Calif.
Long said the team is excited to make up two of the rainout games.
“We typically do really well with Notre Dame de Namur, and we haven’t played Mills College ever,” Long said. “I think we’ve gotten rained out the last three years. We’re looking forward to it.”
Following the matches the Red Storm will have one final opportunity to play at the Pacific West Conference Championships on Friday in San Rafael, Calif. At the conference tournament the motto is simple—win or go home.
Should the Red Storm fail to advance, their season will be over. But while the ending of a season can sometimes carry with it negative connotation, this team will have plenty to hang its hat on.
Pelton said the team doesn’t have much to be disappointed about because it performed well throughout the season, and the games it lost were against much higher competition.
“Ultimately, it’s been a really good season,” Pelton said. “Every team that we’ve lost to is a top 40 or 50 team in the nation or a Division I school. They’ve won the matches they should have, and they’ve competed in the other ones.”
Long said the season was an overall success because the team improved greatly from the previous season, and the younger players stepped up.
“It helped a lot,” Long said. “A lot of the freshmen stepped up, and we were able to get a couple more matches because of that.”