Tennis Preps for Crucial Match Weekend



March 20, 2014

RUSTON - The Louisiana Tech tennis team faces its toughest weekend of the spring season, taking on three opponents in three days beginning on Friday versus No. 24 ranked Houston at 2 p.m.

The match will be played in Denton, Texas at the Waranch Tennis Complex where the Lady Techsters will take on Conference USA foe North Texas on Saturday at 11 a.m.

LA Tech (12-2) rounds out the weekend with a home match on Sunday at the Louisiana Tech Tennis Complex against Jackson State with first serve set for 11 a.m.

"These three matches will define what kind of women's tennis program we have," said head coach Chad Camper. "It will take aggressive doubles and an all-out effort in singles to accomplish our goals to win all three this weekend."

The Techsters are coming off a 5-2 win at UL-Lafayette where the depth in singles proved too much for the opponent once again.

Manoela Chiacchio continues her amazing run of 10 straight victories at No. 5/6 and Taly Merker has recently stepped up to boast a 6-1 overall record on the back end as well.

"Manoela has been playing top-notch tennis and really has gotten us points early in the singles match," said Camper. "Both she and Taly Merker have been the most improved, and I hope they can put it to work this weekend."

Houston (11-3) enters this weekend having won four of its last five matches, while they have already defeated four ranked opponents on the season.

Freshman Despoina Vogasari leads the charge for UH as she owns a team-best record of 16-5 overall in singles play. Her play has earned her a No. 80 national ranking this season.

North Texas (7-8) has been in and out of the national rankings this season and is coming off 5-2 victory over No. 69 New Mexico.



The Mean Green made the move over to C-USA after claiming three of the last four Sun Belt Conference titles.

Capping off the weekend is the just the second home match of the year for LA Tech, a battle versus JSU.

"Houston is a tough team with few weaknesses so we will have to come out firing and never let up to be competitive," said Camper. "North Texas is a mature team with a lot of experience with some great wins this season. This will be an important conference match which could impact tournament seeding.

"Then there is Jackson State who has had mixed results this year. If they come out hot we will have a real fight on our hands."

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