The regular season for WVU’s tennis team will come to a close this Sunday at Iowa State. For one Mountaineer, this is familiar territory.
Last offseason, WVU revamped its entire roster with recruits and transfers. The only two players that were on the team last season are senior Nastya Bovolskaia and sophomore Momoko Nagato. One of the two transfers they landed was junior Ting-Pei Chang.
“Overall I did well in this season,” Chang said in an interview. “I think me and Camilla did a good job in doubles. We worked well together.”
Camilla Bossi is her doubles partner. The duo made history this season and became the first WVU doubles team to be nationally ranked.
Chang started her tennis career at Iowa State where she posted a 28-26 record in doubles and went 19-25 in singles.
This will be Chang’s first time playing at Iowa State since she wore a Cyclone uniform. Five of her former teammates are still on Iowa State’s roster.
“I’m happy to see my friends in ISU and excited to be back to the school that I’m familiar,” Chang said.
One of Chang’s former teammates, Iowa State’s Christin Hsieh, attended the same high school as Chang. Both players prepped at Zong Xing High School in Taipei City, Taiwan. Hsieh has consistently been in the top doubles slot for the Cyclones, so it would seem Chang will be matched up against a familiar face to start the match on Sunday.
As she prepares to play against her old team, Chang sees this one as any other match.
“I don’t feel, carry more weight or feel more pressure,” Chang said. “For me it feels same as other matches. I will have the same mindset to play against them.”
The Big 12 is a gauntlet in terms of tennis. Eight of the teams in the conference are nationally ranked in the ITA poll with Oklahoma and Texas being in the top 10. WVU has struggled in Big 12 play thus far, going 0-8 since conference play started. Five of those matches were sweeps.
Iowa State currently is ranked No. 30 in the nation. They have two singles players ranked with Naklo Thasaporn at 56 Ange Oby Kajura at 91.
Iowa State sits with a 14-5 record and are ranked fifth in the Big 12 with a 3-5 conference record. The Cyclones are coming into this match off of back-to-back losses to Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.
Even with the challenge that ISU poses, Chang is ready to play in Ames.
“I’m very excited, and I think this is a good opportunity for all of us compete against good team,” Chang said.
The match will take place at 2 p.m. as the Mountaineers will look to close out their final regular season match with a win.