Women’s tennis team aims high

Lady Mavericks tennis come together in a pre-game huddle on April 6, 2016 before a game against Southern Methodist University at the tennis center.

At the start of a new season, head coach Diego Benitez is ready to send the women’s tennis team off on their quest to win a Sun Belt Conference Championship.

“It’s going to be a fun year, we have a good group of girls,” Benitez said. “Hopefully we can win it all. That’s the objective.”

Although the team is young, they are talented, Benitez said.

“We have very good leadership with Agustina, Carla and Anna,” he said. “They have been there. Anna has been in the highest stage reaching the NCAA nationals in doubles. That’s great knowledge that they can pass along to the other girls.”

Diego Brunicardi, who has over 30 years of experience as a coach and professional, joined the program in October as an assistant coach.

Brunicardi said he likes what the team’s veterans are teaching the younger members of the team.

“They are showing them professionalism,” Brunicardi said. “They take care of the details, they are prepared, they are sleeping well, they are eating well, they get here on time. They have their equipment ready, that discipline will show on the court.”

The roster has one senior, Agustina Serio, and one junior, Carla Cerdan Vives.

The underclassmen are sophomore Anna Wichert and freshmen Almudena Boza, Momoka Horiguchi, Klara Mrcela, Lucia Natal and Nanaka Takeuchi.

The Opponents

UTA will face three teams that qualified for the 2017 NCAA Division I Tennis Championships: Rice University, Wichita State University and the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Nonconference opponents that will be visiting the UTA Tennis Center are UT-Rio Grande Valley, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, Rice, Sam Houston State University, Princeton University, UT-San Antonio and Southern Methodist University.

The nonconference road slate features matches against UMKC, Wichita State, New Mexico State University, the University of Wyoming, UT-El Paso, the University of San Francisco, the University of the Pacific and the University of North Texas.

Sun Belt Conference play begins on March 13 when Georgia Southern University visits the UTA Tennis Center.

The 2018 Sun Belt Conference championships will be held April 19-22 at the Peachtree City Tennis Center in Peachtree City, Georgia.

Chasing History 

Serio is nearing the school all-time career singles winning percentage. Serio has a career winning percentage of .744, second to the all-time leading .765 percentage set by Maria Martinez-Romero during her career from 2008-12.

Serio also is looking to climb the all-time career combined victories chart. She is sitting just outside of 10th all time with 119 combined victories only four behind Giada D’Ortona (2010-13) who has 123 career combined victories.

“I didn’t know about the records,” Serio said. “The best thing to do is try your best during every match. You can’t really think about records to much, just let the results speak for themselves.”

The women’s tennis team is set to serve up its spring season against UT-Rio Grande Valley at 11 a.m. Friday at the UTA Tennis Center.

“This season will be special because it is my final one,” Serio said. “I know that I won’t be back and I want to leave with the feeling that I gave it my all.”

@scoopsestrada

sports-editor.shorthorn@uta.edu

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