Mustangs prepare for toughest test yet

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Freshman Shahzoda Hatamova returns a ball against Louisiana Tech on Sunday, Jan. 24 at Turpin Tennis Center at SMU. (SPENCER EGGERS/The Daily Campus)

The No. 23 SMU women’s tennis team will face stiff competition and put their perfect record on the line when they travel to the NCAA Regional Indoor Championships this weekend, Jan. 29-30, in Gainesville, Fla.

The Mustangs (4-0) will have to start out strong, as they will first face the No. 32 Florida International Golden Panthers on Jan. 29.

The Golden Panthers (2-0) won their season-opening match in a convincing fashion, disposing of Florida Atlantic University without dropping a point, 7-0.

Against their second opponent, Troy University, FIU also won handily, 5-2.

The Mustangs, however, are no slouches themselves. SMU was awarded the preseason rank of No. 23, and they have given no reason for the critics to doubt their choice.
SMU, like FIU, is perfect so far this season and have only dropped a single point in their four matches.

Sophomore Marta Lesniak, playing No. 1 singles for SMU and ranked No. 47 in the nation, is a big reason for the Mustangs’ success. The Poland native is perfect so far this semester with a 7-0 record.

Lesniak’s doubles partner, sophomore Aleksandra Malyarchikova, is equally as impressive in the No. 2 singles spot.

Malyarchikova is ranked No. 76 in the nation and also has not dropped a match so far this season. When the two of them step on the court as SMU’s No. 1 doubles tandem, they are ranked No. 30 in the nation and have only dropped a single game this season.

After the match against FIU, the Mustangs will either take on No. 8 Florida or No. 64 BYU on Jan. 30.

Following the NCAA Regional Indoor Championships, SMU will travel to Tulsa, Okla. to play their first conference match against Tulsa University.


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