"We played in some stronger tournaments this fall than we have in the past and our girls responded well," said head coach Greg Wyzykowski. "Our results continue to improve and we continue to head in the right direction as a program. We're knocking on the door of where we want to be and I think the team is excited to get the spring started and show it on the court."
This weekend's three-day trip to Cornell will serve as one final tune-up before the Pirates enter the bulk of their dual-match schedule. SHU dropped a tough 3-4 decision to NEC powerhouse Fairleigh Dickinson in their only head-to-head matchup of the fall, but will be looking to build upon the dual-match success of 2011-12 during the 19 upcoming spring dates.
Over the next three months, Seton Hall will take on a number of regional powers, two teams that earned a berth to the 2012 NCAA Tournament and seven BIG EAST foes en route to their second-consecutive trip to the BIG EAST Championship.
Sandwiched in the middle of the jam-packed slate is a three-match spring break trip to sunny San Diego, Calif. where the Pirates will go up against three area teams in as many days.
"We have a tough schedule, but it is filled with matches that this team is capable of winning," Wyzykowski said. "The key for us is going to be finding a way to come up with that key win in close matches. This team has great potential but taking those crucial points is going to be very important for us."
Last season, one-quarter of the Pirates' losses came by just a single point. SHU did capture seven wins however, and broke a five-year postseason drought by earning a bid to the 2012 BIG EAST Championship in Tampa, Fla.
The conference championship is again slated to be held in Tampa, and will begin on April 18 and continue until a champion is crowned on April 21.
In 2013, the format has changed, and all teams will receive a bid to the conference championship in April.
That fact has done little to diminish the keen focus that prevails throughout the squad as they prepare to get their first crack at an opponent since late October.
"We have had some great competition within the squad and the girls are really pushing each other," Wyzykowski said. "Though they are competitive, this team really has great chemistry. They are all focused on a common goal for the team and bring the right mentality to the court each time we play. Our talent level has risen and so has our confidence, so I am very excited about what this year can bring."
Don't forget to follow @SHU_Tennis on twitter for live updates on the action throughout the season.