Senior Mariam Kurdadze and the Green Wave will open the 2012 spring campaign this Friday against Kennesaw State.
Jan. 26, 2012
New Orleans - The Tulane women's tennis team will hit the court for the first time in the New Year when the Green Wave hosts Kennesaw State at 1 p.m. this Friday at the Goldring Tennis Center. There is no charge for admission and hot dogs will be grilled and served free of charge to all fans. Refreshments will be available for purchase.
Friday's match is the first of three home contests for the Green Wave during its opening weekend. On Sunday, Tulane will host a doubleheader against Xavier (La.) at 9 a.m. and the Wave returns to the court to face Southern at 3 p.m.
Tulane (0-0) is 3-0 in season openers under fourth-year head coach Terri Sisk and returns a group that won nearly 60 percent of its singles matches and 70 percent of its doubles contests following a very challenging fall season.
"I have been looking forward to the spring season since we started playing last fall," Sisk said. "We have a hungry group of players this year who have worked tirelessly on the court and in the gym. This has been an amazing process in watching them realize just how solid they are this year and that in turn exudes confidence. We have become so close these last three years with really taking that big step and I truly believe this year is the year that it finally happens. I want this for the entire team but also really want it for the five seniors who have been with us since the program began again in fall 2008.
"We are excited to play Kennesaw State and even more excited to see our faithful Tulane fans in the stadium."
Friday will also serve as the season opener for Kennesaw State (0-0). The Owls returns three starters from the 2011 squad that finished with an 18-6 overall record. Friday's contest will mark the first meeting between the two teams.
Individually, the Green Wave returns a solid nucleus for 2012, beginning with seniors Mariam Kurdadze, Lindsay Dvorak, Marcela Fonseca, Caroline Gerber and Jessica Lange, along with juniors Emma Levy, Hila Elster, Emma Helisten, Caroline Thornton and Caroline Magnusson. Sophomore Jenny Hois and freshman Emily Dvorak are the Wave's lone underclassmen this season.
Kurdadze is a three-year starter at the top of the singles line-up and was 9-3 in singles play during the fall. She begins her final season ranked No. 7 in singles among the top players in the Southern Region.
Along with Kurdadze, Levy played the No. 2 spot in the line-up last season and is the 13-ranked single player in the region. She sported an identical 9-3 single record last fall.
Newcomers Magnusson and Thornton have already made an immediate impact on this year's squad in both singles and doubles Magnusson notched a team-best 10-4 overall singles record in the fall and is ranked 16th in the region, while Thornton is ranked 19th.
Last fall, Dvorak was 8-6 in singles play, while Helisten was 6-2 and Elster finished with a 6-3 mark.
In doubles action, Kurdadze and Levy have been tough to beat the last two years and especially this past fall. The duo was 10-3 and enters the spring ranked fourth in the region.
The tandem of Magnusson and Thornton joined up as a doubles team in mid-October and finished with 7-2 record, which was good enough to earn a No. 9 ranking in the region.
Lindsay Dvorak and Helisten put together a steady fall showing with a 6-2 record