Spring Sports Preview: Tennis
Spring sports are underway and gopetrels.com looks at the outlook for the squads. Here's a look at the 2011 men's and women's tennis teams.
After completing a double-jump from 10th to 8th place in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference in 2010, the 2011 Stormy Petrel women's tennis team will face a bit of a rebuilding campaign this year after losing four of six starters from last season. Saddled with competing in one of the toughest tennis leagues in the country, Head Coach Peter Howell knows he has his work cut out for him in 2011. He'll need to mesh the two returners with 5 talented incoming freshmen in order to try and continue to climb the ranks of the daunting SCAC.
Leading the returnees is senior Co-Captain Jayme Danielson. Danielson features a skilled all-court game that earned her All-SCAC Honorable Mention status in 2010 and she'll look to build on her fine 2010 season. She is joined by senior Co-Captain Kayla Atkins who gained invaluable experience last year competing from the No. 3 doubles position. Also returning for the Lady Netters is junior Sarah Duff who adds much needed depth to the middle of the lineup with her formidable backhand. Rounding out the Petrels returning for Coach Howell is four-year performer LaDonna Barnes who also adds experience and leadership to the squad.
Leading the charge of newcomers to the Petrels lineup will be freshman Katarina Te who will challenge for the top of the lineup with her explosive ground strokes. Joining Te in battling for the top of the order will be freshman Caffrey Francis with a patient and solid all-around game. Also joining the mix is sophomore transfer Clara Reinheimer who features needed doubles expertise and freshman Katie Siess whose trademark is highly valued consistency. Rounding out the newcomers will be freshmen Cynthia Hiebert and Kate Cassell. Both Hiebert and Cassell will be counted on to develop quickly despite their youth to add depth and give Howell more options in setting his lineup.
The schedule, as always, will provide a myriad of challenges for 2011 squad featuring matchups against regionally ranked opponents Methodist, Huntingdon and Agnes Scott. Also on the slate are conference stalwarts Sewanee (nationally ranked), Birmingham-Southern (regionally ranked) and Colorado College (regionally ranked) to go along with two other scheduled matches within the conference against Austin and Hendrix.
"We have a lot of work to do to integrate this new talent in 2011 but I very much look forward to the challenges 2011 will present," said Coach Howell.