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Timko, Marshall Tennis look to keep hot streak alive against Virginia Tech

Sports Editor

Published: Thursday, March 7, 2013

Updated: Thursday, March 7, 2013 23:03

Marshall University tennis is back on track after a rough February, with the teams last pair of victories coming over UNC Greensboro and Old Dominion last weekend by scores of 5-2 and 4-3, respectively.

“We’ve been competing better as a team,” Head Coach John Mercer, said. “That’s something we weren’t doing earlier this year.”

One key to the Herd’s recent success has been the solid play of the team’s six seed junior Karli Timko, who has won her last five matches, including two match-clinching points, most recently against Old Dominion.

“We had so many fans and it was a great environment,” Timko said. “Just to hit that last shot and win, I will never forget that moment.”

Playing as the sixth singles player, Timko has to wait until the other seeds play at the five-court Huntington Tennis Club.

“A lot of the time when I go out there, the girls are in their second or third set, so I come out shouting and jumping around and sometimes I see a second wind out of them,” Timko said. “I take pride in bringing that out of them.”

Though her role comes with a lot of pressure, Timko does not shirk from the challenge.

“Everyone always says ‘don’t put that pressure on yourself,’ but I don’t know why everyone talks about pressure like it’s a bad thing,” Timko said. “Pressure’s good, it’s what gets you going and gets the butterflies flying and the adrenaline running.”

The Herd has played its last eight matches in Huntington, compiling a 4-4 record including losses to Kentucky and Purdue, which are both ranked in the top 50 nationally. The Herd has a chance to move into the ITA rankings, which ranks from one to 75.

This Saturday, the team will play its first road match in over a month when it travels to Blacksburg, Va. to take in the Virginia Tech Hokies.

“We’ve been playing at home for a while, but we played on the road a lot earlier in the year,” Mercer said. “Everyone pretty much knows the routine.”

Timko said she is excited to leave the friendly confines of the Huntington Tennis Club and get back on the road.

“It’s always fun to pack up the van and go on a road trip with six of your really good friends,” Timko said.

Blacksburg is a familiar venue for the Herd, with its last visit coming in Oct. 2012 for the ITA Atlantic Regionals.

“In my four years playing, this will be the fourth time we’ve played on those courts,” Timko who red-shirted in 2009, said. “A lot of us played them in the fall in doubles and singles, so we pretty much know what to expect.”

 “We played inside last time, but we’ll probably play outside this weekend. The weather is supposed to be nice,” Mercer said.

The Herd and the Hokies will play at noon Saturday.

Will Vance can be contacted at

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