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Cowboy tennis looks to rebound at home

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Mathieu Scaglia wins his match against Arkansas at the Greenwood Tennis Center in Stillwater, Jan 21, 2019.

After a disappointing performance against TCU that eliminated the Oklahoma State men’s tennis team from the ITA kickoff, the team now looks to bounce back against Ole Miss.

OSU (4-1) will be back at home on Friday to face Ole Miss at Michael and Anne Greenwood Tennis Center.

The Rebels (2-3) have lost their past two games. With an underwhelming performance at the ITA kickoff, the Cowboys are ready to get the bad taste out of their mouths and get back into the win column.

After his team went 1-1 this past weekend, coach Jay Udwadia had a positive message for his team players following their first loss of the season.

“We just got to deal with it the right way and not panic and kind of move forward and look for our next opponent and try to improve upon things,” Udwadia said.

OSU’s next opponent has established itself as one of the top teams in the SEC, but has started off slow this year. With a “one game at a time” approach, Udwadia said he wants his team to be energized and buzzing around the court. If OSU overlooks Ole Miss, it'll be in danger of losing its perfect home record of 3-0 on the season.

With No. 1 Wake Forest awaiting the Pokes’ arrival on Sunday, it’s important for OSU to stay focused and take care of business. The Cowboys have a great opportunity Friday to build momentum, gain experience and be on a high note before going into Winston-Salem, NC to face the top ranked team in men’s tennis on Sunday.

“[Ole Miss] played some close matches with some great teams, so that’s going to give us some good preparation,” Udwadia said.

The Cowboys have tried to get the best preparation possible by scheduling numerous top-25 matchups in order to get better. It’s not always about getting the win as teams lose and face different challenges throughout the season. It’s the way these obstacles help the team out in the long run that keeps Udwadia positive.

“You might take a couple lumps along the way, but in the long run I think that helps a team,” Udwadia said. “Go through some adversity and it makes us stronger at the end.”

With the Cowboys’ strength of schedule, the ITA kickoff loss doesn’t mean the world. With other strong opponents waiting down the line, the team will have plenty of opportunities to learn and continue to get better. This starts with Ole Miss on Friday and No. 1 Wake Forest on Sunday.

sports.ed@ocolly.com