The spring season has been a successful one thus far for the women&s tennis team. With a new coach and a new attitude, the team has made great strides toward setting themselves apart from the competition. This was evident as the Yellowjackets battled to three impressive victories during their spring excursion to Hilton Head, S.C.
After returning from its southern trip, the squad is focusing on dominating its opponents and reaching the NCAA regionals.
During spring break the Yellowjackets battled such competitors as Mary Washington College, Mt. Saint Mary University, Grand Rapids Community College and the 49ers from the University of North Carolina – Charlotte.
Mary Washington College, the 10 th ranked team in Div. III, was the first opponent to feel the wrath of the Yellowjackets. The team battled to a gritty 6-3 victory over the Eagles.
Joanna Toke, Deepa Popuri, Marybeth Liang, Rachel Sandler, Erika Kahan, and Tara Pajoohi all registered singles victories.
In doubles, Toke and Sandler, Kahan and Liang and Karina Canadas and Teresa Talens notched wins.
Toke, a sophomore-transfer from Cornell, defeated nationally ranked Lea Schon (6-2 6-3) and established herself as a prime time player.
Coach Anna Khvalina expressed the magnitude of this victory. &Mary Washington was a very good team,& she said. &This win shows that we are a very solid team,& she continued.
During the trip the Yellow-jackets also recorded victories over Div. I Mt. Saint Mary&s College and Grand Rapids College.
The excursion concluded with a tough 5-4 defeat of the established Div. I UNC-Charlotte.
The strength of the 2001 Yellowjackets is the depth and consistency of play that the squad holds throughout its rotation.
&Our No. 2 through No. 7 players are interchangeable,& Khvalina said. &We can win with any one of our players in any position.&
This bodes well for the squad as a difficult northern schedule awaits it. SUNY Binghamton, William Smith College, Lemoyne College, Skidmore College, Hamilton and the UAA championships lie ahead.
Despite the tough upcoming season, Pajoohi isn&t worried.
&We have a very strong team and all our players know how to win,& she said.
This positive attitude will be vital in UR&s quest for regionals.
&Our true test will be against Skidmore,& Khvalina said. &That contest is critical.&
Khvalina said that should the Yellowjackets prove to be victorious against the Throroughbreds, UR &will be on track to the NCAA&s.&
The women&s tennis team will look to the regionals as an attainable goal for another successful season.