Originally Posted by Cindysphinx
Mmmm, I don't think so. The 3.5W with a 4.5M doesn't need great hands. She just needs to guard her alley and block anything that comes her way.
What she does need is the ability to handle balls that get past her partner and to avoid panicking if she faces two at net.
I remember when I first started playing mixed that the women who seemed to do best were women who had solid groundstrokes/returns. I had better volleys, but this did me no good because volleys didn't help me hold my serve in mixed.
A 3.5W guarding her alley/blocking anything that comes her way from a 4.0 guy is pretty much "great hands." A quick, active 4.5 guy can limit what gets back to his partner; extended 3.5W ground strokes isn't the winning formula for 8.0.