University of Utah senior Jena Cheng returned the ball with a forehand as the University of Utah Women's Tennis team take on University of Denver in Salt Lake City, UT on Saturday, February 17, 2018. (Photo by Curtis Lin/ Daily Utah Chronicle)

The University of Utah women’s tennis is back on the road this weekend in California. The team is coming off a home series with one dropped match and one victory. The Utes will take on two in-conference teams and one out-of-conference team.  

Last week, the team took on No. 34 Arizona State and Arizona. The Utes fought hard, ultimately losing to the nationally ranked Sun Devils. The following day the team defeated Arizona 5-2, earning its first Pac-12 victory of the season.  

With the win, Utah is 8-5 (1-1 in conference play). The team will have two chances to up its conference record this weekend.

The team will play against Stanford (6-3) on Friday, March 16, and will close out the weekend with Cal (5-5) on Saturday, March, 17.

Head coach Mat Iandolo is hoping to use the past weekend’s matches to help the team against some top-tier competition in the Pac-12.

“I think we played particularly good doubles matches this past weekend and it is going to be really important to secure the doubles points in these matches in order to be successful,” Iandolo said. “We played pretty well at most of the spots of singles on Sunday, so no reason to think we can’t continue rolling.”

Jena Cheng says the conference win against Arizona was a major confidence boost for the team heading into this road series.

“Any time you get a team win it, even at home, going on the road you need a little bit of extra confidence. I think we are really ready,” Cheng said.

The team is prepping by getting in some outdoor matches in before heading to California. Cheng says the team will be trying to get used to the conditions once they get to California.  

This series will be the teams first set of road conference matches this season but both Iandolo and Cheng believe that the team is ready for this trip and whatever it holds.

Everything the team learns with each match, Iandolo believes, provides valuable information for the next game.

“We have an experienced team that understands what’s involved in being successful in this league on the road,” Iandolo said.

This series will be the first set of road conference matches for the Utes this season.

“I think everyone is playing really well right now, and I think everyone in the line up is fighting their hardest and they are really working hard and they want to do their best, so I think we are putting ourselves in the best position possible,” Cheng said.

Iandolo is excited about the stage the team will be playing on to showcase its work.

“Stanford and Cal are perennially two of the best teams in the country so it is an exciting opportunity for us,” Iandolo said.

s.mora@dailyutahchronicle.com

@s_mora99

Sammy Mora
Sammy Mora is currently in her second year of writing for The Daily Utah Chronicle. Before writing here, Sammy was a four year staff member of her high school newspaper The Speaking Eagle where she reached the level of sports editor.

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