Preview: Women’s tennis prepares for Long Beach Invitational

Oregon junior Nicole Long hits a forehand during the doubles match. The Oregon Ducks play the University of South Carolina Upstate Spartans at the Student Tennis Center in Eugene, Ore. on Jan. 24, 2014. (Ryan Kang/Emerald)

Oregon women’s tennis will make its way to the Long Beach Invitational this weekend for three days of tournament play. With five new players joining the Ducks this year, Oregon is ready to get back into the swing of things with its first meet of the season.

“We’re very excited,” head coach Alison Silverio said. “It’s our first competition of the spring season and it’s actually a hidden dual. It’s still a tournament that’s going to be individual results, but it’s going to be played in the team format, which is exciting for the girls and exciting for us and the program.”

Sophomore standout Alyssa Tobita will be one of those competing in the team-format tournament this weekend. She finished with a 20-14 overall record last year, going 13-8 in dual play.

“I think we’re ready for it,” Tobita said. “I think that everyone has been working hard over the break.”

During the fall, Oregon newcomers saw some court time in the WSU Invitational and the Jack Kramer Invitational. Freshman Shweta Sangwan made her mark on the fall by winning the WSU Invitational Gray flight singles championship.

Tobita’s former doubles partner Nia Rose will join the team again after taking the fall season off. Last spring, Tobita and Rose were Oregon’s sole freshmen.

“It’s going to be my first tournament of the school year,” Rose said. “Hopefully I can just play well and implement everything we do in practice.”

Play in this weekend’s Long Beach Invitational is set to begin on Friday, Jan. 16 with singles and doubles matches extending through Sunday.

Following the Invitational, Oregon will travel to Lubbock, TX to take on Texas Tech on Jan. 23 for its first dual meet of the school year.

But for now, Tobita said that the Ducks are “trying to take it one day at a time.”

“Our main goal is we want to get a little bit better each day,” Silverio said.

Silverio said Oregon plans to use the Long Beach Invitational to propel itself through the spring season.

Follow Madison Layton on Twitter @MadisonLayton01

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