The Massachusetts tennis team readies for its last tournament of the fall season with the Big Green Invitational this weekend.
The tournament will take place from Friday, Nov. 3 until Sunday, Nov. 5 in Hanover, New Hampshire, and will be hosted by Dartmouth University.
Following the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Northeast Regionals, where only four Minutewomen were selected to compete, UMass will send its traditional set of eight players to Hanover this weekend to compete in eight singles competitions and four doubles matches against host Dartmouth, along with matches against Yale and Minnesota.
UMass has faced stellar competition this fall, and the three schools they are slated to play on Friday, Saturday and Sunday will add to the competitive slate.
Minutewomen coach Juancarlos Nunez knows how beneficial a tough fall slate is for his team.
“It’ll be a great chance for us to continue to challenge ourselves against great competition,” Nunez said. “Dartmouth and Yale are two great schools in our region and we get to measure ourselves against a school from the Big Ten in Minnesota.”
The Dartmouth Big Green are coming off a stellar ITAs, which saw both of their doubles teams make it all the way to the finals to square off against each other. Senior Julia Schroeder and freshman Abigail Chiu beat senior Kristina Mathis and sophomore Racquel Lyn 11-9 in the third set to claim the title.
Yale also enjoyed some success at the ITAs led by freshman Samantha Martinelli, who advanced to the semifinals but fell to No. 1 seed Gabriela Knutson from Syracuse in two sets.
The Golden Gophers will travel over 1500 miles to compete in this weekend’s tournament. Minnesota recently completed the ITA Central Regional in Lawrence, Kansas.
Despite the difficulty of the competition, Nunez believes that his team’s execution will dictate their level of success.
“There’s no team in this region that we cannot beat if we are ready and focused and execute in the key moments,” Nunez said. “Because that is the difference. The talent and the skill level are very similar. It is just the ability to do it under pressure.”
The Minutewomen will look to conclude their fall campaign on another high, following successful showings at the Brown Invitational and the Bulldog Invitational in addition to the historical quarterfinals births by Ruth Crawford in singles and Ana Yrazusta and Laura Moreno in doubles at the ITAs.
At Sunday’s conclusion of the Big Green Invitational, UMass will go on an extended winter rest period before kicking off their spring season with a home match against Providence College on Sunday January 21st in Amherst.
Tim Sorota can be reached at [email protected]