After a couple of weeks off following the Drake Fall Invitational, the Drake women’s tennis team is back in action this weekend at the Northern Iowa Fall Invitational. The team will travel to Cedar Falls for the three-day tournament this Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
“The team is looking pretty good,” senior Gabby Demos said. “Everyone is starting to get their groove back. The Drake (Fall) Invitational wasn’t spectacular, but for the most part everyone did a good job, and I’m confident going into this weekend.”
Drake netted a 7-3 record in singles play at the Drake Fall Invitational and got a week off from action before its next tournament. This week the Bulldogs are in tournament mode as they prepare for the teams who will compete at Northern Iowa.
“Our practices on the week of a tournament like this are playing points and sets, singles and doubles, and to get our minds ready for competition,” senior Jessica Aguilera said.
The Northern Iowa Fall Invitational gives the team a chance to face higher-level competition that it did not see at Drake.
“I’m excited about this invitational because last year there was some great competition and schools we don’t get to play very often, so I’m really looking forward to that,” Demos said.
On a senior heavy team, two freshmen are still trying to find their places. At the Drake Fall Invitational, both Nell Boyd and Amanda Dick notched victories, and the Northern Iowa Fall Invitational gives them another chance not only to shine but also to get closer with their new team.
“Since (the) individual conference (tournament) is just around the corner, this a great opportunity for us to see what else we need to work on and get even more comfortable playing matches,” Demos said. “The more match experience the better, especially for Nell and Amanda who are new to college tennis.”
With such great competition in Cedar Falls, this invitational presents a great chance for the Drake women to improve on their skill sets and be more prepared for tournaments in the future.
“Our goal for this invitational is to boost our confidence and get ready for the MVC tournament,” Aguilera said. “That is the most important tournament of the semester, so this invitational is a great preparation for it.”
Head coach Paul Thomson keeps his goals simple as well.
“The goal is to get better and better at every invitational; that’s what the fall is all about,” Thomson said. “This invitational will give us match experience and an idea of where we can be in the spring. My message for the girls before they take the courts on Friday is to do the small things to get big results.”
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