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Thursday, March 31, 2011The Bisons and Lady Bisons head for the Carolinas this weekend to face Atlantic-Sun foes USC-Upstate and Campbell on Friday and Saturday as the season begins to wind down and the A-Sun tournament nears.
Coming out of last weekend, both teams went winless to slide their A-Sun records back two matches. Although their record didn’t see any improvement, men’s and women’s head coach Andrew Harris said there were definitely positive results.
"Last weekend was certainly a challenge for everyone,” Harris said. “Between the weather and the matches themselves, our program certainly went through some trials last week. However, it showed both teams that, when they play at a high level and focus on the intensity of the moment, good things can happen."
On the men’s side, two close 4-3 losses last weekend to North Florida and Jacksonville dropped their A-Sun record to 3-4. As they prepare for Upstate and Campbell, Harris said the Bisons will once again need to focus on securing the doubles point and transferring that focus into singles.
"With both matches coming up this weekend, the guys definitely know they are going to have to bring their A-game,” Harris said. “They have proven to themselves throughout the year they can compete with any team. The key right now is winning the doubles point and keeping their composure throughout the course of the match.”
After failing to follow through last weekend, Harris said he has high expectations for the two upcoming matches.
“They struggled staying focused on the task at hand last week and it costs them,” Harris said. “We addressed it with them on Monday and are expecting a better representation on Friday and Saturday."
Last season, the men fell to Upstate 6-1 and were swept by Campbell 7-0, but with a stronger line up this season, they expect a much more even match up.
For the Lady Bisons, after their win against Mercer to open conference play, a string of losses has brought their spirits down. With two more added on last weekend, a 5-0 loss to North Florida and 6-1 loss to Jacksonville, the Lady Bisons record plummeted to 1-6.
Harris said the Lady Bisons’ level of competition remains strong, and he hopes to capitalize on the other team’s weaknesses, particularly Upstate’s.
"The ladies competed well this weekend,” Harris said. “From the beginning, we have stressed the importance of competing, and they did that especially against Jacksonville. Going into the USC-Upstate match they have not been playing as well as they were looking to this year and having that intensity level will be critical going into Friday's match."
Last season, the Lady Bisons fell to Upstate 6-1 and were swept by Campbell 7-0.
Both teams head out Thursday for Spartanburg, S.C., to face USC-Upstate on Friday. The men will begin play at 10 a.m., and the women will start at 2 p.m.
The teams will then head up to North Carolina for a match with Campbell on Saturday.
Only one conference match remains following this weekend before the conference tournament.
Written by Ashlan Williams, student assistant in athletics media relations.
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