Frodo Baggins himself, Elijah Wood once said: “Safety and comfort come with complacency, and that’s never a good place to be working from.”
The University of Denver women’s tennis team (11-3, 2-0), which has not played since they blasted the University of Nebraska Omaha 7-0 on March 15th (South Dakota was supposed to play DU the next day but had to reschedule due to the bomb cyclone), has taken those words to heart.
Looking to get back into that match mindset, the squad split into “Team Wheat Thins” (apparently the name comes from sophomore Anna Riedmiller’s love of the grainy snack) versus “Team Trail Mix” and simulated a dual match Wednesday.
Wheat was the winner, as TWT edged TTM 3-2.
Perhaps intending a little bit of a pun, associate head coach David Loewenthal said after the scrimmage “They brought the goods today, actually it was very competitive, we were pretty pleased,” he said.
Wednesday’s snack will lead into Saturday’s full meal, as the #43 Pioneers take on North Dakota in Grand Forks. The Fighting Hawks (9-9, 2-0) are recent tennis additions to the Summit League, previously having competed in the Big Sky Conference.
North Dakota is hoping to upset the Pioneers to stay perfect at home and in the Summit.
UND associate head coach Kyle Anderson says he realizes he has a tough challenge ahead but is just imploring his team to play their game. “Our team understands the challenge a top 50 team and perennial Summit League powerhouse presents,” Anderson says. “For us to push Denver it is imperative we stay within ourselves and trust what makes us successful.”
Anderson also says not to count his #1 Isa Sullivan out Saturday against DU star Bianca Mok: “Isa is a very determined competitor. She often frustrates opponents and forces them to hit numerous aggressive shots to win an individual point. She has been great all season.”
While insisting his team plays one match at a time, Loewenthal is starting to look ahead to a big huge next week – with a home match against Utah, before heading south to play Arizona, and Arizona State. Then the Summit League tournament in Tulsa and the NCAA tournament will be front and center.
“Obviously we’re trying to get the girls better, develop them and work on what’s going to get us to be as successful as possible this April and May.”
The DU/North Dakota match gets underway at 1 pm MT Saturday.