Tennis: The Huskies look to defeat formidable foe in Army 

The UConn women tennis team takes on the second match of the season against the Fairfield University Stags at Magic Lincer Tennis Academy. After a harsh loss to BC, the women win 6-1! Photo by Jordan Arnold/The Daily Campus

After some recent successes, the UConn tennis team looks to continue their winning ways against Army, an opponent against which they have struggled mightily over the past 15 years. The Huskies will travel up to West Point to take on the Black Knights on Friday at 1 p.m. in hopes of breaking that curse. 

Since getting shellacked in their season opener against Boston College, UConn has fared well in meets with Fairfield University and Merrimack College, defeating them both by convincing 6-1 scores. Against Fairfield, though singles No. 1 Aleksandra Karamyshev barely edged out her Stag counterpart, the rest of the team cruised to an overall easy victory. The win was driven by especially dominant performances from Oliva Wright (6-1, 6-4), Maria Constantinou (6-3, 6-1), and Cameron Didion (6-1, 6-1) in singles and Wright pairing with Isabel Petri Bere in doubles. The day against Merrimack was much the same as the Huskies cruised past the Warriors without doing so much as looking in the rearview mirror. Both of those meetings show how strong this squad can be, and how much room they still have to potentially improve. 

As far as UConn’s opponents go, the Army Black Knights do not look particularly formidable on paper. They hold a 6-4 record through the season so far and have lost badly to teams like BC, Harvard and the University of Toledo, but otherwise have won the matches that they were supposed to. They will come into Friday’s match having won three in a row and five of their last six. Their best meet of this streak was against St. Bonaventure University, who they swept 4-0. None of the matches were particularly close to being nail-biters as Army took the home meet convincingly and without any sign of slowing down. The capability to win in that manner makes them a difficult foe to face. 

Even more fearsome than Army’s recent streak of good play is their propensity for beating UConn badly, no matter where the matches are played. Over the previous four seasons, the two squads have met twice, once in Storrs and once in West Point, and Army has done nothing but dominate. The last time the Black Knights lost a single set to the Huskies was in 2018, also the last time that UConn took home a victory. Connecticut will really have to bear down and find a way to win against an opponent that has a reason to feel comfortable playing them. 

This meet is going to be a tough one for the Huskies. They’ll have to overcome an opponent they have not defeated in nearly five years that also happens to be coming off an absolute heater. The best thing Connecticut can do is come to play on Friday and never let themselves get down about falling behind. If they keep that mentality, maybe they can break through and take a hard-fought victory to carry them into the weekend. 

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