Rich Donahue | The Duquesne Duke
The Duquesne women’s tennis team is getting ready to end its season on a strong note as the Atlantic-10 Championship approaches.
The Dukes are currently 7-9 on the season and 3-3 in conference play heading into the last match of the season. Head coach Joe Camillo stated that he is really excited about the team’s progress through the season so far.
“We have had a great spring season so far,” Camillo said. “The team is very confident right now and I am really excited to see how the team does in the A-10 tournament.”
The Dukes started off their season 4-3 with a conference win over St. Joseph’s, but proceeded to drop their next 4 matches, including a match to conference rival Temple.
Junior Judy Li said the team did not play their best during the losing streak.
“We just did not play as well during that stretch,” Li said. “We just hoped we could play better in the final stretch of the season.”
The Dukes then shook off their losing streak to win three of their last five matches including two conference victories over Dayton and St. Bonaventure and a win over city rival University of Pittsburgh.
Sophomore Chandler Consonery said that the team stayed strong through the last couple of wins and the season as a whole.
“As a team we have grown over the last handful of games and in the season as a whole,” Consonery said. “We had some pretty tough matches against Pittsburgh and St. Bonaventure, but those matches helped us become a pretty strong team heading into the A-10 tournament.”
Since the A-10 tournament is being played outdoors, the Dukes have begun to play their last few matches outside after spending most of their season with indoor matches scheduled.
After their first outdoor match Friday against St. Bonaventure, a 7-0 win, Camillo said that the team looked a little shaky.
“The fact is we did not look like we played outside this season when we played against St. Bonnie,” Camillo said. “We looked shaky at first, but we found our stride by the middle of the match.”
With the A-10 tournament a week away, Camillo expressed that the team has one main goal going into the tournament.
“Our goal for the A-10 tournament is to get to the semifinals,” said Camillo. “If we get a good enough seed and avoid playing top programs like Xavier and Virginia Commonwealth, I feel we have a great chance of achieving that goal.”
Li added that getting a good seed is important, but that the team can also handle the underdog role if they don’t.
“We hope that we can get a good seed for the tournament,” Li said. “Even if we do not, I feel we are getting better so if we have to play the underdog role we will be fine doing that and be able to surprise some teams.”
Before the Dukes play in the A-10 tournament, they will host the California (Pa.) Vulcans in a non-conference match on Friday at Alpha Tennis and Fitness in Harmar, Pa. The A-10 tournament will begin on April 18 at the Boar’s Head Sports Club in Charlottesville, Va. and will go until April 21.