By Alex McKeon, For The Miami Student
Creative Commons Photo
The Miami women's tennis team begins its season Friday as it plays in the Miami Invitational. Created last year, the event brings in Xavier University, the University of Louisville and Bowling Green State University for two days.
"I think the girls are anxious because its the first tournament after the summer, and they are trying to figure out the things they are going to work on," head coach Yana Carollo said. "I gave them task to fight through this tournament, but didn't set any specific goals for them because I am new and I want to see what they are capable of. It's going to be a good benchmark for us to see what are the things we need to work on in the future."
The RedHawks had a great deal of success in last year's Miami Invitational against some solid competition. The invitational is a round robin format, so each team plays singles and doubles matches against all other teams. Early in the season, coaches begin to figure out where they will place their players in the lineup. This is the case for the two new freshmen on the team; Erin Rodriguez and Hannah Shteyn.
"In terms of telling where they [Rodriguez and Shteyn] are going to be, its tough to know because we need to see them compared to the whole team, so that's what this tournament will do for us." said assistant coach Ricardo Rosas. "So for the freshman, we expect them to play high, just to get the experience and play tough opponents and then we go from there, but I definitely know adding Erin and Hannah is going to bring a lot of depth to our team so I am looking forward to this tournament."
This is one of the few times Miami is able to host higher-level tennis against quality opponents.
"I think it's huge for us" said Rosas. "It's going to be a goal for us to host this event every year. It will promote our sport and we are planning on bringing some really good opponents; obviously for us to compete against but also for the people around the community to really have the opportunity to experience what the level of college tennis and the hard work these young ladies do everyday."
The Miami Invitational kicks off Friday and runs all day throughout the weekend, ending Sunday afternoon.