“I’m convinced it will pay off in the last half of the season as we finish up this tough part of our schedule,” Shore said. “We’re moving in the right direction.” Shore also said four of the five conference matches the team have played have been teams in the top five in the SEC. “It’s now time for us to show we’ve improved through this tough schedule,” Shore said. “Hopefully, this upcoming weekend we can get on a needed streak.” The Tigers have two matches at home this weekend. Saturday, they welcome South Florida (5-9) in a 10:30 a.m. match. Sunday, they battle SEC rival Vanderbilt (10-6, 2-3 SEC) at 1 p.m.
No. 8 Tim Puetz, senior doubles and singles player, said he felt the team is constantly improving. “We just finally need to get a win,” Puetz said. “We’re a good enough team to beat other good teams. We just need to get over the hump. I’m positive as the season goes on we will be a very successful team.” Puetz said the team’s strength is in singles. “We are competitive in every position, and we don’t have any weaknesses in our (singles) lineup,” Puetz said. “Our weakness is in doubles. It’s just too hard to be down 1-0 after doubles against good teams. We need to improve there.”
Puetz said he is looking forward to playing this weekend. “We just desperately need to get a win,” Puetz said. “South Florida and Vandy are both beatable, and I expect us to get over the hump against at least one, if not both of the teams.” Puetz said he and his teammates are focusing on their goal of making the NCAA tournament this season, despite the recent losses. “As of right now, we’re nowhere near qualifying, so we’ve got some work ahead of us,” Puetz said. “We just hope to take advantage of our upcoming schedule.”