The Virginia women’s tennis team travels to Durham, N.C. for an NCAA Regional this weekend. The Cavaliers face VCU in a first round match Friday at 11 a.m. Virginiasports.com caught up with freshman Emily Fraser to preview the tournament. Question: You travel to Duke this weekend for a NCAA Regional. How excited are you for your first NCAA Tournament?
Fraser: I am really excited. I am happy that we were selected this year. I know that the team struggled a bit last year and didn’t make it, so it is nice that the team is back in it. Hopefully over the next few years there won’t be a question of whether or not we will make the tournament. Question: You play VCU in the first round, a team that despite being local, you didn’t play this season. What are you expecting from that match?
Fraser: I don’t know that much right now about VCU. (Coaches) Mark (Guilbeau) and Troy (Porco) have been working on the scouting report, but haven’t given us the run-down on them yet. I know that they are ranked below us and that we should be favored. But anyone who makes the NCAA Tournament is a good team, so we need to be focused and ready to play. Question: If you beat VCU, most likely you would play Duke in the second round. You lost to Duke twice this season. What do you need to do differently if you play them again to getter a better result?
Fraser: We all need to focus on our individual courts. Nobody can rely on anyone else in their own match. We have to be focused and not give away any free points. They are going to be tough at every position. Duke has a lot of depth, but each of us is capable of beating our opponent if we play smart tennis. Question: You were named to the All-ACC team as a freshman this season. What does that honor mean to you?
Fraser: That was a huge honor for me. I wasn’t expecting it at all, so it was a nice surprise when Mark told me that I had been selected. Hopefully I can improve my game and continue to be on it in future years. Question: As you are closing in on the end of your freshman season, what has been your impression of your rookie season?
Fraser: I can honestly say that my whole season has been incredible. I am so happy here. I love the team, the school and the coaches. I didn’t come in with the expectation that I would play No. 1 singles, but I am happy to be there. I have learned so much and improved so much since the start of the year. The one thing wasn’t totally aware of was how much the team dynamic is to having success in college tennis. It isn’t just about having great players at every position, but you have to work hard together to get better.