Raiders' Zaslow likes team's potential

The Southern Oregon women's tennis team will open its 2010 spring season this weekend with a pair of exhibition matches.

The Raiders will play the University of Oregon club team today and the Ashland Tennis Club Sunday.

Today's match will be played at SOU starting at 12:30 p.m. If it rains the match will be moved to the tennis courts at the Rogue Valley Country Club and the start time will be pushed back to 1:30 p.m.

Sunday's match will start at 2:30 p.m. at the Ashland Tennis Club.

First-year head coach Ari Zaslow will have six new faces on his eight-player SOU roster.

"We are young, but have a lot of talent and potential," Zaslow said. "We need to work on staying focused and not letting the little things get us frustrated."

Sophomore Liz Kiger and senior Katrina Sauer are the two returners for the Raiders. Kiger is slated to play No. 3 singles and No. 1 doubles after playing No. 6 singles last year. Kiger went 10-1 last year as a true freshman.

"Liz is really consistent and puts a lot of balls in play," Zaslow said. "She is a very hard worker and is a good leader for this team."

Sauer red-shirted last year and will battle for time as the No. 6 singles player and the No. 3 doubles team.

Freshmen Allison Bostrom and Lexi Thomas will battle it out for the top two singles positions, while Thomas will team with Kiger to make up the No. 1 doubles spot.

The rest of the newcomers include Addie Morrow, Emma Wilson, Kayla Carroll and Camille Chavez.

After this weekend's exhibitions, the Raiders will open up the regular season next Friday at Portland State.

SOU wrapped up the 2009 season with a 7-2 victory over NCAA Division II Metro State.

The Raiders finished the year with a 10-1 record, just a match away from postseason play. SOU's lone defeat during the season was to regional foe Lewis-Clark State. Senior Katie Ross wrapped up her career with 85 total victories.

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