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Cowgirls return home for matchup with Gonzaga

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Katarina Stresnakova serves during her OSU-Wyoming match at the Greenwood Tennis Center in Stillwater, January 20, 2019.

Over a month removed from its last home match, the Oklahoma State women’s tennis team will take the court in Greenwood Tennis Center this weekend.

A well-rested and upbeat OSU team will take on No. 39 Gonzaga at 5:00 p.m. on Friday at GTC.

Coming off a dominant showing at the Blue Gray Championships two weeks ago, which included a sweep of top 20 Wake Forest in the finals, the No. 8 Cowgirls’ confidence is on the upswing.

The performance boosted the morale of the team, which took a bit of a hit during after a 4-5 start to the year against a tough schedule.

“Once you start losing, the mood of the team drops a little bit.” senior Katie Stresnakova said. “We’re still fighting and we still believe, but obviously we feel better when we are winning. Blue Grays helped us a lot with confidence.”

OSU has had to manage multiple injuries this year. Stresnakova was still working her way back from ankle surgery at the beginning of the season, while seniors Marina Guinart and Sofia Blanco were both injured in the team’s match against UCLA.

But with some extra time to rest, the Cowgirls had their full lineup available in the Blue Grays and will be healthy against Gonzaga.

“We were able to get healthy,” OSU coach Chris Young said. “Sofi was able to get back in the singles lineup. We saw when we had a full roster what we were able to do”

Despite the team’s momentum, its biggest focus has been to improve its consistency in doubles.

Along with adding new players, the Cowgirls have had to shuffle their doubles lineups to manage injuries, which makes on court chemistry tougher to achieve.

“Doubles is something around here that were used to being pretty good at,” Young said. “Any time you bring in some new players you gotta kind of teach what we expect in doubles, but I think we’ve made some good progress”

But Young said the biggest difference in doubles has been the team’s inconsistency to finish points at the net. He also wants his tandems to play more aggressively.

“Each girl has an area of focus that they’re working on,” Young said. “One of the things we focus on here is just the development of each player.

“I think that’ll help us be a better team come Friday.”

sports.ed@ocolly.com