Sept. 17, 2009
NEW ORLEANS - The Tulane University women's tennis team opens the fall portion of its 2009-10 schedule on Friday, Sept. 18, when the Green Wave travel to Memphis, Tenn., to participate in the Inaugural Memphis Collegiate Invitational at the Memphis University School Tennis Courts.
Tulane is one of eight schools taking part in the Memphis Invite, joining host and Conference USA opponent Memphis and league foe Tulsa along with Belmont, Georgia State, Mississippi, Murray State and Tennessee-Martin. The three-day event will feature four doubles draws and eight singles draws, and will conclude on Sunday, Sept. 20.
"We're very excited about the year," second-year Tulane women's tennis head coach Terri Sisk said. "This is a great tournament for us to open up with. We're going to try and continue where we left off in April, so this is the type of debut we want to make. With a field as strong as we're going to see in Memphis, it's really going to be a push. But it is something we've worked hard for the last three of weeks and we're really excited to see where we stack up."
The Green Wave return seven letterwinners from last year's team, which finished the regular season with a 12-11 dual-match record. Headlining the list of returnees is sophomore Mariam Kurdadze, who claimed Louisiana Sports Writers Association Freshman of the Year honors and was named first-team All-Conference USA and All-Louisiana honors a year ago after posting a 19-5 record in singles play.
Also back from last year's squad are sophomores Lindsay Dvorak, Marcela Fonseca, Caroline Gerber, Elizabeth Hamlin, Jessica Lange and Sharon Siegel. Joining the team for the 2009-10 season are true freshmen Hila Elster of Tel Aviv, Israel, Emma Helistén of Helsinki, Finland and Emma Levy of Princeton Junction, N.J.
"Off the court, this team is a family. It's been fun for me to watch them. They act like they've been together for 10 years. That is something that we hope turns into positive results on the court. We're looking forward to an exciting season both on and off the court."
Day one of the Memphis Collegiate Invitational opens with doubles play at 9 a.m. where Krudadze and Levy will battle Samford's Morgan and Mallory in the Blue 1 Draw while Lange and Siegel take on Meredith Burns of Tulsa and Anna Marie Herbold of Tennessee-Martin and Lange and Siegel square off against Belmont's Lindsay Bennett and Natalia Nunes in the Blue 2 Draw. Dvorak and Hamlin will face Abigail Hogan and Catherine Holiday of Belmont and the tandem of Fonseca and Gerber will play Memphis' Amanda Brown and Dara Toulch in the White 1 Draw.
In singles action, Kurdadze will take on Angela McGahee of Murray State in the Blue 1 Draw while Dvorak battles the Racers' Ashley Canty and Hamlin squares off against Anastasia Erofeeva of Tulsa in the Blue 2 Draw. In Blue 3 Draw action, Lange will play Samford's Jessica Diamond and Levy will face Alice Laing of Tennessee-Martin in the Gray 1 Draw.
Fonseca and Elster will battle Samford's Lindsey Mallory of Samford and Ewe Szatkowska of Tulsa, respectively, in the Gray 2 Draw, and Siegel will open Gray 3 Draw action against Belmont's Spenser-Anne Edwards. Helistén will face Georgia State's Katarina Gresova in the White 1 Draw, and Gerber will open the Memphis Invite against the Panthers' Linda Hricistova in the White 2 Draw.
"We just want to get better," Sisk said. "We're working on a lot of little things right now, both tactically and technically. We're working on inside and outside balls. What we can do and when. When do we attack? When do we play defense? These things are the basics of tennis. That's sort of what I like to use the fall for.
"The fall is for basics, so that when we get into the matches in the spring, we know not to over-think things. A lot of people might think we're in a little over our head, but not really. We all have big goals for this year. The girls and I sat down at the beginning of the year. We have our goals in place. Now, we just have to go out and make it happen."
Following the Memphis Collegiate Invitational, the Green Wave continue fall action on Friday, Sept. 25, when they travel to Houston to open play in the Rice Classic at Jake Hess Stadium.