Dixie State University women’s tennis won its first match of the spring after getting off to a rocky start, losing its first four matches.
The first of those losses came Feb. 10 against future Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference opponent Colorado Mesa University, a team the Trailblazers beat back in October 8-1, losing 4-5, including three singles games in the third set.
“I think a big thing to work on is our mental game,” said Sabrina Longson, a freshman exercise science major from Salt Lake City. “A lot of us get really close to winning but just can’t quite pull it out. I think our main goal could be focusing on closing out our matches.”
DSU also fell to Division I opponent Southern Utah University 2-7, winning one singles and one doubles match on Feb. 10. DSU then traveled to California to face Concordia University Irvine and California State University Los Angeles, losing to Concordia 2-7 and CSULA 0-9. CSULA finished sixth last year, and Concordia currently sits at sixth in the standings of the Pacific West Conference, which includes three teams ranked in the top ten for Division II: Hawaii Pacific University (4), Academy of Art University (6) and Azusa Pacific University (9).
“We have had a couple tough matches to start out the season,” Head coach Eric Pelton said. “We’ve faced some of the top teams in [in Division II] and a Division I team. We are picking up points; we are in the matches; we are definitely doing a lot better than we have done in the past. The girls have been fighting hard.”
DSU took on PacWest and Division II newcomer Biola University Feb. 24, and the Trailblazers picked up their first win of the spring 7-2, finishing 5-1 in singles and 2-1 in doubles matches.
The No. 1 singles match ended with Lacey Hancock, a junior integrated studies major from St. George, and the member of the team who has been with DSU the longest, picking up the victory in a 6-2, 6-7, 10-6 tiebreaker.
DSU returns five out of the seven players from last year’s squad, a team that made it to the Pacific West Conference tournament in 2017 as the 12 seed, while adding four new faces in 2018. One of those new faces being Yolena Carlon, a junior exercise science major from Phoenix.
“I think we have played well so far,” said Carlon. “Unfortunately, we have had a couple of injuries, so I don’t think the outcomes of our matches have been as good [as they could have been].”
The remaining schedule for the Trailblazers includes a trip to northern Utah to face Division I Weber State University before a road trip in March to California where they will take on Mills College and PacWest opponents Holy Names University, California State University Stanislaus and Dominican University of California.
DSU will finish the regular season facing three future RMAC opponents, including the 2017 regular season and tournament champions Metropolitan State University of Denver, a team the Trailblazers lost to in October 2-7, and Mesa Community College.