By ANDREW GLOVER
STILLWATER — With his team getting ready for the Big 12 championship on Friday, one word came to mind for Oklahoma State women’s tennis coach Chris Young — energy.
“I think there’s been periods of time this year that we haven’t started the singles matches off with as much energy as we want to, especially after winning the doubles points. ... I think we’ve solved that problem moving forward.”
At noon in Norman, the fifth-seeded Cowgirls hope increased energy will lead to a victory over the fourth-seeded Texas Christian University Lady Frogs.
“We have some momentum heading into the Big 12 matches,” Young said. “I feel really good about where we are at as a team and the progress we made in the last couple weeks. We’re excited about another opportunity to face them on (Thursday).”
Oklahoma State lost 5-2 to TCU on April 12. Young said his team will need better execution in the rematch.
“We need to play the way we are capable of playing with the type of focus and energy,” Young said.
Young said one of the differences entering Thursday’s match is the Cowgirls’ number four and five singles — Kanyapat Narattana and Maria Alvarez. Narattana has won two of her last three matches. Alvarez won her match against Oklahoma Saturday.
“Kanyapat is playing as well as anybody on the team right now,” Young said. “I think she is going to give us a good strong effort. Maria played well on Saturday, if she plays like that, she can beat anybody on number five singles.”
The Cowgirls (13-7, 5-4) snapped a two-match losing streak with a 4-3 victory over Oklahoma. One of the key victories was the doubles team of Meghan Blevins and Karyn Guttormsen. They trailed 7-4 before winning in a tiebreaker. Young said he hopes they build on that momentum.
“We made a few adjustments in our formations, how we were serving and how we played those points,” Young said. “I thought it was really important for us to come back from 7-4 in the fashion we did, gave us a lot of momentum heading into singles.
“I’m really proud of those girls for understanding they needed to make changes at that point in the match and executing,” Young said.
If the Cowgirls win they will face either top-seeded Baylor, No. 8 Kansas or No. 9 Iowa State at 3 p.m. Saturday.