Tennis teams preparing for challenging matchups
Tenika McGiffin in her match at the Goodfriend Tennis Center against UT Martin on Feb 2, 2018.
Caleb Jones / Contributor

The Tennessee Lady Vols’ tennis team (6-0) has gotten off to a great start this season, having yet to see a blemish on its record.

This weekend they’ll have a chance to keep that streak going.

The Lady Vols will play a doubleheader this weekend in Cleveland, Ohio, against Cleveland State (0-5) and Akron University (4-3), then will head on their bus to Bloomington, Indiana, on Sunday to take on the Lady Hoosiers (6-0).

After a 2-0 record on a road trip to Virginia in January, the Lady Vols will look to build on their success under coach Alison Ojeda.

“To travel as a team and compete together, there will be some tough competition, so it will be really good to go out there and support each other and build on our games and what we have been working on in training,” Tenika McGiffin said.

The headline of the weekend will be the matchup against the Lady Hoosiers. At the conclusion of that matchup, one of those programs will have suffered its first loss of the season.

“We don’t need to go out there and do anything crazy different than we are now: Go out there and be focused and understand what we are all trying to execute on the court,” Ojeda said.

The success the women are sharing this season makes them all confident heading into the road trip.

The men’s team (7-2) will stay around in Knoxville this weekend to take on the No. 20 nationally ranked Duke Blue Devils in a matchup at the Goodfriend Tennis Center at 6 p.m. on Friday night. Not having had a match at home this year, the road-tested Blue Devils come in supporting a 4-1 record.

Coming off a disappointing road trip to the ITA- Kickoff Weekend, the Volunteers look to turn it around in the friendly confines of the Goodfriend Tennis Center. Their 7-0 home record shows a sign of improvement under new coach Chris Woodruff.

With conference play just around the corner for both Vols tennis teams, overcoming the challenges ahead this weekend would go a long way during tournament time in the SEC.

The Lady Vols will have as much of a mental challenge as they do physical in going to both Ohio and Indiana in early February.

With the men’s team playing a nationally ranked team at 6 p.m. at home, they will depend on their home-court advantage to pull the upset.

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