By Dalton Ray–
Mark Beckham’s team lost to Marshall 4-3 at home . The Cardinals had a late push but couldn’t overcome the Thunder Herd’s early victories.
Louisville took the doubles point but Marshall won three of the first four singles matches. Coach Beckham says his team isn’t ‘there’ just yet but will be soon.
“We aren’t quite there obviously as far as pulling out these close matches like this,” he said. “I feel like we’re going to get healthier and as that happens these 4-3 losses won’t be a normal thing for us.”
The team only has eight players and two are injured at the moment. Which means the remaining six are forced to play both singles and doubles matches. One of the two singles winners was junior Olivia Boesing.
Coach Beckham said Boesing is one of the most experienced players on the team next to fellow junior Elle Stokes. He says she has been playing, ‘about as good of tennis as he’s ever seen her play.’ Her poise is leading the team according to coach.
Similar to last year the team has started off the year hot. The 2015 season started off 9-1, after eight games in 2016 the Cards are 6-2. The easy part of their schedule is now over and they head into the ACC.
To start off conference play U of L will play four straight road matches: Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, Wake Forest and no. 9 Virginia. UVA is just one of six currently ranked opponents Louisville will have to face in last 17 games.
Coach Beckham thinks last season will pay off for his squad this year.
“We’re going to be more experienced,” he said. “Last year we had zero experience and now we have people who are young based on age but have gone through it. They’ve all played top level competition and now it won’t be as big of a surprise. Once we get healthy we can really use that experience.”
Getting fully healthy is obviously the biggest key for the Cards right now. Once they can get their full deck then the team can make some noise. Until the then team will have to ‘survive’ according to Beckham.
After the four game road trip Louisville will be back home on Mar. 4 to face North Carolina State. Photo by Dalton Ray / The Louisville Cardinal