Despite being picked to finish last and second to last in conference, the Omaha men's and women's tennis teams have both gotten off to encouraging starts.
The women's squad is off to a perfect 2-0 after a 7-0 blowout win over Nebraska Wesleyan, followed by a hard fought 4-3 victory over former North Central Conference rival North Dakota.
It will be months before Nebraska weather will allow any tennis outdoors, but on Sunday the UNO men's tennis team got their season underway indoors at the Hanscom Brandeis Tennis Center, and the women aren't far behind.
The men are coming off a season in which they finished 6-13. The ladies went 7-12 in 2011-12, but at one point were 3-11 before winning four of their last five matches.
It's a new season with many new opponents and many fresh faces, but the goals remain the same.
"Getting better, improving each day," Head Coach Mike Saniuk said. "Building better players to increase the program."
When the week began, the UNO men's tennis team was looking at the possibility of going the year without a win over a fellow Division I team. But a 4-3 win over Western Illinois on Monday guaranteed that wouldn't happen.
The women's tennis team achieved a team goal by defeating a fellow Division I team on Monday then followed it up with victories in two of their final three matches.
One of the goals for head coach Mike Saniuk and the UNO tennis teams in 2012 was to get a win over a fellow Division I team. As the week began at Western Illinois, that goal was quickly slipping away.
Men's tennis went from peaks to valleys in midweek action, sweeping Concordia 7-0 then facing defeat by the same margin in a 7-0 loss to Creighton. Wednesday the Mavs rolled, winning all singles and doubles matches en route to the sweep of Concordia. Less than 24 hours later the tables were turned, and it was Creighton getting the clean sweep against UNO.
The UNO men's tennis team split weekend action in Kansas City, falling to UMKC 7-0 Friday morning then dropping Emporia State 6-3 in the afternoon. Though the Mavs were unable to earn any points against UMKC, one of the Summit League's best squads, UNO quickly pushed the loss under the rug and went back on the court to sweep doubles and split singles against Emporia State.
The UNO women's tennis team traveled to Kansas City Friday afternoon, dropping a morning matchup with UMKC 6-1 then rebounding to defeat Emporia State 6-3 in the afternoon. In the two matches, Mav doubles only picked up one win while singles were a combined 5-7.