Sept. 8, 2011
NEW ORLEANS - The Tulane women's tennis team will begin the 2011 fall season as part of the 10-team field at the 19th annual Tribe Invitational this weekend, Sept. 9-11, at the Millie West Tennis Facility and the Rec Courts in Williamsburg, Va.
The three-day event is hosted by Williams & Mary and will include 10 programs from across the country and consist of five singles flights and two doubles brackets. Competing in the Invitational alongside W&M will be Columbia, James Madison, Old Dominion, Penn, Richmond, Tulane, VCU, Virginia Tech and Winthrop.
The event began in 1993 and has become one of the top college women's tennis tournaments on the East Coast. Friday will begin with two rounds of doubles followed by a round of singles. On Saturday, competition will open with a round of doubles followed by a two rounds of singles. The final day of the event, Sunday, will be the championship and consolation rounds of both singles and doubles.
Play begins each day at 9 a.m. with Flights A, B and C of singles and both doubles draws taking place at the Millie West Tennis Facility. Flight D and E of singles will be played at the Rec Courts.
The up-and-coming Green Wave is loaded with depth and talent entering the 2011-12 campaign. Fourth-year head coach Terri Sisk has her program poised for a run into the national rankings and into the thick of the Conference USA title chase this season with 10 returning letterwinners and four newcomers.
Last season, the team capped off its best season since returning to campus with a fifth place ranking in the Southern Region and the duo of then junior Miriam Kurdadze and sophomore Emma Levy was each recognized among the region's top singles and doubles players in the final rankings for the 2010-11 campaign.
"We're really excited to get the season going," Sisk said. "We're returning nine of our 10 players from last year and seven of those are seniors. I want this season to be very special for them because they signed up for our program when we didn't have any players and they will always be a special group of young ladies to me. But they know they have to work very hard because it's their last shot at getting to the post season. We have a good intensity on the court and it's great to see."
"We're excited about the four newcomers and they have already added a lot of balance and depth to our line-up and that's what we were missing last year. We needed to be deeper. We were very good at several spots last year, but we just weren't able to finish some matches. These newcomers bring a new intensity, focus and experience, especially with the three transfers."
TU's returners include seniors Lindsay Dvorak, Marcela Fonseca, Caroline Gerber, Elizabeth Hamlin, Jessica Lange, Sharon Siegel and Kurdadze, while the junior class consists of Hila Elster, Emma Helisten and Levy.
The 2011-12 Green Wave newcomers are juniors Caroline Magnusson, a transfer from Clemson and classmate Caroline Thorton, a transfer from Auburn, while Jenny Hois, a sophomore transfer from Wisconsin, rounds out the squad.
"Our goal for this tournament is to focus on the process. We just started school and we haven't had a lot of practices, so right now we're not focused on results. I want to see our fight, how we compete and see how we react to adversity on the court. This tournament is a big, early test for our team."