Rodgers tries to help SU toward upset over hometown team No. 7 Virginia

first_img Published on February 19, 2015 at 12:02 am Facebook Twitter Google+ Amanda Rodgers dreamed of playing for Virginia when she was a child.The University of Virginia campus was only two hours away from her hometown of Middleburg, Virginia. The Cavaliers were a constant presence in women’s tennis, with a resume that included NCAA tournament appearances in eight out of nine seasons and a Top 25 ranking since 2010.But when Rodgers finally decided on the school she would spend the next four years at, she ended up wearing a slightly different shade of orange and blue.Now a senior for No. 59 Syracuse (5-2, 0-1 Atlantic Coast), Rodgers dreams of defeating the team she once saw herself playing for. After a 4-1 loss to UVA last year, Saturday’s 11 a.m. match against the No. 7 Cavaliers (6-2) in Charlottesville, Virginia will be the final chance she has to get a victory against her hometown team.“It would be one of the best memories I have in college if that happens,” said Rodgers, a contributing writer for The Daily Orange.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textIt won’t be easy for the Orange, which will be facing a Top 10 team for the second time this season. That first match was a 4-0 loss against then-No. 7 Alabama on Jan. 24.While the Cavaliers are a skilled team, Rodgers believes that UV’s high ranking actually works in Syracuse’s favor.“I think we just need to stay focused and just know that we have zero pressure,” Rodgers said. “As in if we win, it’s just amazing and it’s an upset. And if we lose then it’s like we were technically supposed to lose.”The Orange is still looking for its first win against an ACC opponent this season after falling to No. 57 Boston College, 4-1, on Saturday. Last season SU went 5-9 in its first year in the ACC, but hopes to do things a bit differently this year under first-year head coach Younes Limam. Part of that process will be treating highly ranked opponents in a similar manner as other, less highly touted teams.“Every win is a big win for us, every match, we treat every match the same way,” Limam said. “It’s a tennis match, we just have to do everything we can control to be ready for it. It’s a long season and there are a lot of big matches, if you want to call them that.”In Syracuse’s first “big match,” it lost to Alabama, but the match was actually much more competitive that the scoreboard suggested, Rodgers said. “I think the biggest thing is that, even though we lost 4-0 we were all really close and it was very competitive,” Rodgers said. “You know they’re one of the best teams in the country and we were competitive with them so I think that actually gave us a lot of confidence moving forward.”With Rodgers’s final chance at upsetting UVA quickly approaching, the Orange looks to make a statement against a team that is heavily favored to prevail.But SU’s not going to just rely on Rodgers to pull off the upset.Said sophomore Valeria Salazar: “My mindset is to try my best, play my game and just do the best I can because upsets happen.” Commentslast_img


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