The Virginia women's tennis team will conclude its regular season home schedule as it hosts a pair of ACC foes this weekend. The No. 18 Cavaliers play No. 30 NC State on Friday at noon and No. 52 Wake Forest on Saturday at noon. Virginiasports.com talked with first-year Caryssa Peretz to discuss the team's season thus far and preview this weekend's matches.
Question: As you approach the end of your first season, how has the transition gone for you going from junior tennis to collegiate tennis?
Peretz: It has helped my game tremendously. I have been able to raise my play to a higher level since I have gotten here. I have learned so much from the matches and from practicing every day with my teammates. It is a more competitive level of tennis and that has helped me improve.
Question: In recent matches you have had a lot of success and even more up in the lineup. Has that given you more confidence playing at this level?
Peretz: It definitely has. It gave me more confidence, but I still want to prove myself out there. I am still trying to work my way up, but right now I am happy with where I am. I just want to keep improving and finding a way to help my team.
Question: Three of your last four matches have come against top-five teams. Is this what you expected playing in the ACC to be like?
Peretz: I knew when I came to Virginia that I would be playing in one of, if not the toughest, conferences in the country. I think that is a motivating factor for me. Ultimately, I think that will help us play better. When you are playing teams like Miami and North Carolina and Duke, you are only going to get better yourself. We will see those benefits in the long run.
Question: You have recently entered the doubles lineup. How has that transition gone for you?
Peretz: Right now I am playing with Maria Fuccillo, who is a great doubles player, at No. 3 doubles. I think we work well together as a team and compliment each other's games. I love doubles and I am happy that I have a chance to play doubles now. So far we have done pretty well and hopefully we can keep it up.
Question: This weekend you have your final two regular season home matches. How important are these matches against NC State and Wake Forest as you approach the postseason?
Peretz: These matches are really important. Obviously we have had some tough results against some really good teams the last few weeks. These matches are good opportunities for us to bounce back. Both NC State and Wake are tough teams, but hopefully we can pick up our level and get a couple of wins.
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A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.
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