By Dalton Ray —
In the last fall event of the semester, women’s tennis hosted Michigan State, West Virginia and Ball State for the Louisville Classic. In the three-day classic, each team faced off against one another in singles and doubles.
Friday, Nov. 3
The Cards kicked off the classic with sweeping Ball State in doubles. U of L won all three sets 6-1, not giving Ball State a chance.
Kicking up the competition, Louisville fell to Michigan State 2-1 in their doubles match. Abbie Pahz and Mariana Humberg defeated Emily Metcalf and Davina Nguyen 7-5. The Spartans sealed the point with 6-4 and 6-3 wins.
Louisville then moved on the Mountaineers in singles, winning 4-2. Tiffany Huber, Raven Neely, Humberg and Pahz all recorded wins in the match.
Saturday, Nov. 4
Saturday kicked off just Friday for U of L: Sweeping Ball State in doubles. After downing the Cardinals, Louisville moved on to sweep West Virginia in doubles as well.
Switching to singles, Michigan State continued to hold Louisville’s number. MSU beat Louisville 5-1, with the lone win coming from Tiffany Huber (6-1, 4-6, 10-7).
Sunday, Nov. 5
The teams finished the classic with a pair of single head-to-head matches. Louisville defeated Ball State 5-1, bringing their weekend total in singles record to 10-8.
The Cardinals really flexed their muscles in doubles, going 10-2 over the weekend.
Pahz and Humberg didn’t drop a doubles match in the classic, going 3-0.
Chatting with coach
Coach Mark Beckham said the benefit of the Louisville Classic is to prep his team for dual matches in the regular season. He looks to see how fresh faces respond to the fire.
“More than anything, I want to see how the new girls are,” Beckham said. “I’ve got two freshmen and one transfer so I want to see how they respond to dual match situations.”
After a full fall of events, Beckham said he has a better idea of what his team can be in the early spring.
Beckham said freshman Maya Smith is one of the most fierce competitors he has coached. Beckham said Smith is still raw, but is coming into her own.
“I don’t care how it looks, but if you’re going to compete and find a way to get it done, that’s what I want. That’s what she is all about,” Beckham said. “Right now she needs to work on the finer details of playing, but she will be very, very good.”
Sophomore Raven Neely transferred from Northern Illinois and was the MAC Freshman of the year in 2017.
“She’s a talent. She has some of those things you can’t really teach and that’s what makes her potential pretty high,” Beckham said.
You can follow Dalton Ray on Twitter @dray5477.
Photo by Dalton Ray / The Louisville Cardinal