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Cowgirls preparing for big weekend against Baylor, No. 6 Texas

OSU Women's tennis vs Kansas 10.

Catherine Gulihur in doubles action against Kansas at Michael and Anne Greenwood Tennis Center on Jan. 26, 2019.

After cruising through its first four conference matches, the Oklahoma State women’s tennis team faces a big challenge this weekend in Greenwood Tennis Center.

The Cowgirls take on Baylor on Friday at 5 p.m., then return to the court for a heavyweight match with No. 6 Texas on Sunday at 1 p.m.

To start the conference slate, No. 9 OSU (13-5 overall, 4-0 Big 12_ has only lost a total of three points in convincing victories against Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State, and West Virginia.

“I feel like we’ve come out and just done what we’ve needed to do,” OSU coach Chris Young said. “The scores have been dominant in our favor but the girls really have just played solid-level tennis.”

Traditionally a power in the Big 12, Baylor has had a down year with only a 6-15 record.

But Sunday’s top-10 matchup features arguably OSU’s toughest opponent of the season.

“Texas being a top-six team in the country, it’s gonna present a challenge for us,” Young said. “Their lineup is so strong. But I feel like we match up well.”

Anna Turati headlines a talented Texas roster that will test the Cowgirls’ depth at the end of its lineup.

One of those players, freshman Catherine Gulihur, is feeling confident in her play heading into the weekend. She said her experience throughout the season has better prepared her for these tough matches.

“(I’m) so much better,” Gulihur said. “Not just stroke wise, technique wise, footwork and all those things, but in my head as a player I’m stronger on the court and I’m mentally tougher.”

OSU was swept in its match with the Longhorns last season.

Despite opening conference play strong, Young believes his team is just scratching the surface of what it can become.

“I still feel like there’s a whole other level we can get to as the season goes on,” Young said.

“Hopefully that comes this weekend.”

sports.ed@ocolly.com