February 29, 2012

2012 Women's Tennis Preview

Coming off its record 10th-consecutive North Coast Athletic Conference title and another trip to the NCAA Quarterfinals, the Denison women's tennis team returns the majority of its roster from a year ago.

Headlining the list of returnees is 2011 All-American, Sarah Short.  Last season, the senior posted a 15-10 record in singles competition and went 18-10 in doubles play, including an 11-3 mark with recent graduate Kristin Cobb.  Short and Cobb competed at the NCAA Doubles Championship in Claremont, Calif.  In the opening round, the tandem dropped a three-set decision (6-3, 2-6, 6-0) to Emory's Gabrielle Clark and Lorne McManigle.

Also back for their senior seasons are Kate Westenberger and Courtney Steiner.  Westenberger went 18-5 as a singles competitor and recorded a 9-7 mark in doubles action, while Steiner was 5-0 in doubles competition and 1-1 in singles.

Returning for her third year in Granville is Alex Marcell.  Marcell went 14-5 in singles during her sophomore campaign and registered a 12-9 mark at the second doubles flight.  Sophomores Kelsey Geppner and Lilianna Broussalian will also rejoin the team after successful debut seasons in 2011.  Geppner posted a 15-3 record in singles dual matches across five of the six positions.  She also logged an 18-10 doubles mark, including a 10-3 record at No. 2 doubles.  Broussalian appeared in three of the six singles positions and went 9-6 overall.  The second-year athlete also was 2-0 as a third doubles player.

Making an instant impact will be first-year Heather Abzug.  The rookie was a highly sought after recruit in high school and should play a pivotal role in both singles and doubles play.

The level of competition in the NCAC West Division has risen with the addition of DePauw University to the conference.  Having seen the Tigers at many of the top regional and national Tournaments over the past few years, DU knows the level of talent DePauw brings to the NCAC.

The Big Red will face very stiff national competition at the ITA National Indoor Tournament and the Midwest Invitational this season.  This weekend, the Big Red will carry a 1-1 record into the ITA National Indoor Tournament in Greencastle, Ind.  Matches will run from Friday (Mar. 2) to Sunday (Mar. 4).