College Tennis: Why U-Mary only has two home matches this year?

If you missed the UMary tennis team over the weekend, you'll have to wait until next year to see them play in Bismarck. 

For the 2018 season, the University of Mary tennis team only has two home matches.

"Every year," head coach Vida Saliendra said, "we get a guaranteed two home matches. Every other year we have three. Every third year, We'll have four."

In the Northern Sun, there are only 12 tennis programs. So each school was given a travel partner.

"Our travel partner is [MSU] Moorhead, "Saliendra said, "and they have four home games this year."

Moorhead was partnered with U-Mary. 

"Because we are closest to each other in terms of distance," Saliendra said. 

This year, is an instance where U-Mary only has two home matches. 

"It's usually back to back," Saliendra said. "Friday, Saturday or Saturday, Sunday"

With only two home matches, the Marauders -- the team furtherest west -- are at a disadvantage.

"On average we travel about six hours," Saliendra said.

Players point out the time of the matches is also a concern.

"It's in the middle of the work day," senior Eileen Leong said. "So for some of the girls that could have class."

Timming could also effect family who want to attend.

"If our parents are coming up," Leong said, "or if our friends or faculty want to come, they're working because it's the middle of the work day."

Which Eileen thinks is tough on the program's supporters.

"We want tennis to be known more," Leong said, "since we practice off-campus and we play off-campus."

Which sometimes leads to interesting conversations with classmates.

"Sometimes it's hard to walk around campus with [U-Mary] tennis shirts on," Leong said. "People are like, 'Wow, we have a tennis team at U-Mary.' Yes we do. You just don't see us that often."

The players and coaches say they wish they had more home matches, but enjoying playing in front of fans as match a they can.

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