Court finally in session for Cougars
After a rash of injuries forced Sam Houston State to forfeit UH’s first scheduled match of the sprint, the Cougars are eager for their first action-packed weekend on John E. Hoff Courts.
From Friday through Sunday, UH will take on Louisiana Tech and Texas Pan-American before finishing off the weekend with a match against Northwestern State.
The team faces an uphill climb and will be on little rest. Head coach John Severance plans on utilizing the team’s entire lineup.
“Unfortunately, we don’t have enough players to ration,” Severance said. “We have seven players on our team. In doubles we’ll play six, and in singles we’ll play six. So we’ll be using 85 percent, if not all, of our team.”
Severance says the team is hungry to compete against other teams after weeks of practicing with each other. With each passing day, he expects the competition to grow fiercer.
“I would imagine all three teams have got better from what they were last year. I think the weekend gets progressively harder each day, finishing with Northwestern State who is a very talented team.”
The Cougars’ strength is that they are injury free. With only seven players, however, a single injury can have a drastic effect on the team’s success. Sam Houston State felt that blow in last week’s match.
Severance hopes this weekend will bring much needed experience to a team that features three freshmen.
“We’re very young and very inexperienced. That’s obviously our weakness,” Severance said. “The only way to get (experience) is to play matches.”
The team hopes they will be rewarded for their hard work during the offseason.
“I hope we go into this weekend with a better knowledge of shot selection and discipline,” Severance said. “Especially at the beginning of the season, it’s going to be a lot of discipline and work ethic that’s going to get you through some of these matches, not just talent.”
Severance knows his team has a daunting challenge this weekend, but remains confident in its potential.
“We have our hands full all weekend, especially when we have three matches in a row after not playing all year,” Severance said. “If we come out and execute our game plan, we’ll come out with the results we want.”