Both Midwestern State's women's tennis team, and Mustang senior golfer Brenna Moore, will be competing at their respective NCAA National Tournaments this week.
Moore qualified for nationals by winning the NCAA Super Region 4 (West Region) Championship last week in northern California, while the Mustang tennis team advanced by defeating Saint Edward's 5-0 in the South Central Region #2 Championship last Monday.
"Our confidence is really good right now," said MSU Tennis senior Taylor Coffman. "We played against Saint Ed's earlier in the year and it was a 9-0 match, and then we played against them again at Regionals, and they were there to fight. But we were expecting it, so we're really confident in the way we can play against teams that are ready to compete against us."
For Moore, it's the culmination of a very hectic few weeks, which started with a trip to California, then featured a weekend jam-packed with exams and studying, as she took mid-terms on Friday on barely any sleep, before taking all of her finals before her flight to Michigan Monday morning.
"This is the first day of finals," explained her coach, Jeff Ray. "She had two finals today, and one Saturday, and she had a couple tests Friday when she got back, so it's been a very, very busy week as we missed basically all last week."
For Moore, it's a relief.
"I'm really excited," she said Monday. "Now that I'm done with school I can just concentrate on golf. And you know, it's my last go-around. I'm just really excited to be there, not have school to worry about, not have anything else to do."
It will be a bit of an adjustment this week, as the tournament will consist of four rounds over four-straight days. Most NCAA Division II women's tournaments are just two rounds over two days. Moore called it a mixed blessing.
"You know [that] one day, if you have a bad round, you won't shoot yourself out of it," she said. "But also you know if you play consistent golf for four days, you're going to finish at the top. So, it's stressful but it's not stressful at the same time. It's just, every day changes."
"It's definitely a grind," Coach Ray agreed. "But I mean, what they're trying to do is find the best player. And that's going to bode well for her, because obviously she's a great player. So, the more rounds you play, the better she'll be."
The 14th-ranked Mustang tennis team will face the #12 Vulcans of California University (Penn.). MSU's players and coach said they may be more comfortable in the heat of the desert than their northern opponents.
"We've played in the summer in Wichita Falls," said Coffman. "So the heat doesn't really bother us as much as it could bother other teams. And so we're going to use that to our advantage. And, we've played in drier weather, so we're ready to go."
Coach Scott Linn said California's climate may also affect the way they play.
"They're in Pennsylvania, so I'm guessing they play a lot of indoors," he said. "Their serve is probably pretty good, and their returns are pretty good, and they're probably not too dominant off one side or the other. They're probably pretty consistent. It's hard to be a forehand player indoors, all the time."