AUBURN, Ala. - No. 14 Auburn women's tennis begins the spring portion of the 2017-18 season this weekend at the Yarbrough Tennis Center squaring off against ULM, Oklahoma and Georgia State.
"I think there will be nerves in this first match, and ULM is a very scary, strong team to go up against," Auburn head coach Lauren Spencer said. "We are going to have to work out some kinks. I think for us playing with confidence, we want to start off the way you want to finish, so I want to see the freshman come out and show me what they've got, and I want the upperclassmen to lead the team and really go after it."
The Tigers return a talented lineup from the 2017 season that saw the Spencer-led Tigers advance to their second-consecutive appearance in the Round of 16 at the NCAA Championship and a program-record 25 wins. Senior Alizee Michaud returns after earning First Team All-SEC honors as does fellow senior Andie Dikosavljevic, who earned Second Team honors.
Sophomore Taylor Russo is returning to the court following an outstanding fall campaign that saw seven wins, including three over ranked opponents, and a runner-up finish at the ITA Southern Regional. The Deerpark Fla., native also qualified for the ITA National Fall Championships.
Meredith, a native of Birmingham, Ala., was the top-ranked player in the state of Alabama when she inked with the Tigers. Daniel started her Auburn career with an impressive fall campaign that included nine wins, three over ranked opponents, highlighted by a win over No. 11 Estela Perez-Somarriba of Miami in her first career match.
"We're excited to have everybody back," Spencer said. "The fall was very difficult for us for a number of reasons, both emotionally and physically, because of injuries and things like that. The fact that I have a full nine-squad, healthy girls able to play matches from the very beginning is really exciting for me. If the level of play in the last four days of practice is any indication of what we can expect from them, it's going to be a very good season."
Auburn is slated to begin the weekend vs. ULM Friday at 10 a.m. followed by a match against Georgia State at 3 p.m. Saturday will see the Tigers take on Oklahoma at 10 a.m., all times central.
All matches will be played at the Yarbrough Tennis Center and admission is free. Live stats will be available at http://www.auburntigers.com/livestats/w-tennis/xlive.htm.