Women’s tennis starts season strong

Anne Boyd

The ‘Nova women’s tennis team began its regular season with an impressive 2-0 record with wins against LaSalle and Fordham last week.

Due to inclimate weather Saturday, the team played Fordham at Penn Oaks, an indoor tennis facility about 30 minutes from campus. The change of venue did not deter the team however, rolling over the Rams 7-0.

“It was a good win considering we lost to Fordham last year 3-4,” head coach Steve Reiniger said. “The win versus Fordham is certainly an indicator of improved team play and depth over last year.”

Freshman Candice Carlin boasted her fifth win of the season at the No. 1 spot. Freshman teammate Leighann Reilly had an outstanding straight set win at the No. 6 spot, winning 6-1, 6-1.

In addition to the new freshman, the team also has junior transfer Melissa Reed, who also has had a big impact on the team at the No. 2 spot. “The presence of the freshmen and junior transfer, Melissa Reed, have not only provided us with improved talent, but just as importantly, greater numbers and thus excellent depth,” Reiniger said.

Reiniger stresses, however, that winning tennis matches is a team effort. “None of what has been accomplished during the early part of our year could have been done without the senior leadership that has blended the new faces into one team so quickly,” he said. “Senior captains Erica Walter, Kelly McAndrew and Jessie Rybacki have been the catalyst to this easy transition.”

The ‘Cats had a shutout win against LaSalle Sept. 11, with each singles player winning in straight sets. “Every member of the team exemplifies a positive attitude and we all feed off of each other’s positive energy,” co-captain McAndrew said. “One of the keys to our success in the past two matches has been that we get the doubles points first and ultimately this gives us the confidence and momentum we need going into our singles matches.”

“Our new freshmen and new transfer are very talented, hard-working tennis players and more importantly they are passionate about the sport, therefore, they fit in perfectly with our returning members,” McAndrew said.

The team gets a break from match play this week and will resume play on Sept. 20 and 21 at the Bucknell Invitational. The team is looking forward to further success, and they face their biggest challenge against tennis powerhouse LaFayette on Sept. 25.

Coach Reiniger is optimistic about the improved team and the upcoming season. “Two matches do not make a season, but we seem to be going in a positive direction.”