Tennis: The Huskies gear up for the Big East tournament

The UConn women’s tennis team competes against the visiting Quinnipiac University at the Magic Lincer Tennis Club in Manchester, Conn. on Mar. 1, 2023. The Huskies kept their home win streak, edging out the Bobcats 5-2. Photo by Skylar Kim/The Daily Campus.

After a season that’s had its share of ups and downs, the UConn tennis team finally makes their way to the Big East tournament. They have had to fight tooth and nail for everything they’ve won, and despite their fair share of bad losses, it all culminated into a solid 10-9 overall record. Even though a less-than-stellar 3-4 tally against conference rivals does not bode well, the fact that this team has overcome all of the trials they’ve faced and come out with a winning record should give the Huskies hope that they can still perform well and win a round or two in the postseason. 

Connecticut’s season was a strange one overall. They got off to a mediocre start, crushing two significantly weaker squads in Fairfield and Merrimack by scores of 6-1, but were routed by stronger opponents in Boston College and Army, both at 0-7. The Army loss appeared to give the team direction, however, and the Huskies began to put together something of a streak. Connecticut took five victories in a row, taking down Stony Brook, Drexel, Rhode Island, Providence and Quinnipiac over the course of two weeks between February and March. They looked poised to continue dominating the way they had been doing and potentially solidify themselves amongst the high-tier teams in college tennis, but fell short of such lofty ideals as spring break approached. 

The women headed out to Florida to keep up their win streak, but got smacked down twice at the hands of Creighton and Navy, both at scores of 2-5. All of a sudden, the team was slipping, and it seemed like they couldn’t find any solid ground. After a week and a half’s respite, UConn took on St. John’s, Boston University and Sacred Heart, only to get pummeled in all three games. Unfortunately, the positive momentum the squad had built was completely gone, as they went from 7-2 to 7-7 in the blink of an eye. The rest of the way was trying, as they took on four Big East foes and a regional rival on their way to the end of the regular season. They halted their five-game skid with a complete win against Villanova, but fell to Georgetown and Xavier to put themselves under .500 for the first time all season. If they wanted to keep their hope of a winning season, they would have to win both of their last matches. With grit and determination, they managed to do so, as they slayed both Butler and UMass in close triumphs. 

That brings us to their next meet, against Seton Hall. The Pirates have had an even rougher season than the Huskies, as they struggled the whole way and ended the year with a 6-13 record and no wins out of six games within the Big East. In their last three matches, Seton Hall only mustered a single set win out of 20 completed, a stat that has been quite representative of their season as of late. Though they will also look to keep their season alive, it will be difficult for them to do so against a UConn team that wants to put themselves on the map and get to the second round regardless of how their regular season went. 

This is Connecticut’s best chance to gain some momentum. They are going up against a struggling Seton Hall group that has really not had a good end to the season. If the Huskies can play just as they have in their past two meets, there is no reason why they shouldn’t find themselves in the second round of the Big East tournament. 

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