The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

    Lady netters host opener

    The Mississippi State women’s tennis squad will blast into the new year with a home match versus Centenary at 1 p.m. Saturday.
    Head coach Tracy Lane says that this weekend’s match with Centenary, a small college out of Louisiana, will determine just how good her team is.
    “We’re looking pretty good,” Lane said. “It’s really hard to tell right now. We’ve only been in school a couple of days and we have only practiced for the last three days.”
    Lane will be going into her seventh season as the Lady Bulldogs’ head coach.
    “We’re anxious to get (the season) started, but we will all know a lot, as far as how we are looking, after the first match,” Lane said.
    Senior Yumi Ueda will lead the Lady Bulldogs. Ueda is the most experienced player on the squad, which includes two other seniors, a junior, a sophomore and a freshman. Ueda says this could be the best team that she has played on in her four years at State.
    “We had the best fall since my freshman year,” Ueda said of the Bulldogs’ four fall tournaments. “Everybody has been training really hard. I think we’re pretty prepared for this weekend.”
    Ueda was victorious in two of four singles matches during the fall tournaments. The three-year letter winner from Hyogo, Japan, says that the team chemistry has always been there.
    “Every year I’ve been here we have all been close,” Ueda said. “We never really had major team conflicts. I feel like everybody on the team gets along with each other.”
    Lane says that Ueda’s experience and dedication will hopefully pay off.
    “Yumi’s just a hard worker,” Lane said. “My hope for Yumi is that she will have a successful semester. She sets very high standards for the program because everyday she comes to practice and gives 110 percent.”
    Lane said Ueda has a GPA above a 3.0 that illustrates her dedication off the court.
    Ueda’s close friend and fellow senior teammate Marcelle Hirt talked about how tiresome it is to be a student athlete.
    “It’s hard. I’m taking 18 credits this semester and I took 18 last semester,” Hirt said. “It’s tough. We have to find time to study and we have practice a lot.”
    Hirt is a native of Brazil where she started playing tennis at the age of 11. The senior said she used to swim, but fell in love with tennis and has not stopped since.
    The Lady Bulldogs will be without freshman sensation Brittany Serret.
    Serret withdrew from the team last semester. The Mississippi Tennis Association named Serret Mississippi’s 2001 Most Outstanding Female Player. She also received over 35 letters of interest from Division 1-A programs around the nation.
    Lane would not comment on Serret’s departure. Serret also declined to comment on the issue.

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    Lady netters host opener