The Razorback men’s and women’s tennis exhibition matches begin Oct. 2 in Louisiana and Texas.
The men’s team will start the practice season at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in a practice tournament against Mississippi State, Texas A&M and LSU. The women’s tennis team is traveling to Fort Worth, Texas, to play against Texas Christian University in an invitational.
Last year, the men’s tennis team won a majority of its home games, ending the season 13-5, but they struggled with away games, finishing 0-10. The team ended the season with its overall record being 15-15, including 3-9 in SEC play and two neutral site matches at 2-0. The women’s team rounded out the season at 14-14 and their SEC record was 4-9.
Veteran players and newbies alike have hope for the upcoming season because of a deep roster for both teams. The men’s team has a majority of returning players, with two new freshmen, Foster Rogers and Avery Zavala. The women’s team freshmen include Morgan Cross, Indianna Spink and Presley Southerland.
Foster Rogers, a freshman tennis player from Little Rock, expressed his excitement for the upcoming season. This weekend will be his first college match up. He’s not sure exactly what to expect, but he has high expectations for his teammates, Rogers said.
“I think we have a good team and I think we have a very solid, deep roster and I think if we just work hard and stay corona-free then we’ll be able to have a good season,” Rogers said.
New rules have been put in place to keep coaches and players safe. Tennis is not a close-contact sport, but players are still required to fill out a form every single day after practice to account for any COVID-19 symptoms that they could have.
During matches this weekend, players and coaches are not allowed to leave their hotel rooms or visit other players’ rooms unless they are going to play in the tournament. On the bus to the matches, players are required to wear a mask at all times, Rogers said.
The tournament this weekend for the men’s team is an official practice match before the regular season starts in 2021. The women’s invitational at TCU will not include the entire team.