GW Women's Tennis Opens 2013 Schedule at Old Dominion
Jan. 25, 2013
WASHINGTON – The George Washington women’s tennis team opens its 2013 spring schedule on Saturday afternoon with a 1 p.m. match at Old Dominion. The Colonials travel to Norfolk, Va., looking to open their campaign with a victory for the third straight year.
Though Saturday will serve as the season-opener for GW, Old Dominion owns a 2-0 record this season after defeating Norfolk State, 7-0, and local foe Howard, 6-1, on Jan. 19. Four Monarchs players started the season with 2-0 individual records in last Saturday’s back-to-back home matches.
“Old Dominion is a strong team and we are looking forward to opening our season with a competitive match,” ninth-year head coach Dawn Buth said. “We have a demanding schedule this spring and ODU will be valuable preparation for what we will see the remainder of the year.”
2013 GW WOMEN’S TENNIS SEASON PREVIEW
Following a competitive fall season in which GW took home the singles and doubles titles at the Georgetown Fall Classic and saw players advance at the USTA/ITA Atlantic Regional, the Colonials are ready to debut a new team this spring season. With four experienced leaders guiding the squad and four newcomers adding to the mix, Coach Buth believes the Colonials’ expectations for winning the Atlantic 10 Championship are not out of reach.
“Our players have adapted remarkably to an entirely new team composition,” Coach Buth said. “With four new freshman and four returners, the fall season played an especially important role for us in building confidence, creating trust and in establishing our team identify. We were successful against teams that we will be up against again in the spring, so we know we can compete at a high level and will use this momentum as we head into the dual-match season.”
Highlighting the Colonials’ fall campaign was a sweep of titles at the Georgetown Fall Classic. Junior Leah Pascarella – who was named to the Atlantic 10 All-Conference Second Team last season – took home the singles championship at the nearby three-day tournament, while the duo of senior Mimi Hamling and freshman Lana Robins claimed the doubles title.
GW lost three players to graduation last spring, including four-time all-conference selection Jacqueline Corba and team MVP Meg Tyner. The Colonials return four letterwinners from the 2011-12 squad that posted an overall mark of 16-7 and a 3-3 league record, in Pascarella and classmate Isabella Escobar, along with seniors Hamling and Dorota Lysienia. GW welcomes four freshmen to the lineup in Christina Carpenter, Egle Jakuciunaite, Robins and Stephanie Wei, all of whom garnered playing experience in Buff and Blue throughout the fall season.
“Our upperclassmen possess very good match experience and mental toughness and have done a terrific job helping our freshmen transition into the mindset of Division I collegiate tennis,” said Coach Buth. “We are proud that all of our returners are members of the GW Leadership Academy. It has been rewarding to watch their leadership roles develop both on and off the court. There is no question this is a point of strength for us.”
Pascarella – who earned back-to-back all-conference nods during her first two seasons in Buff and Blue – headlines the returners and will likely claim one of the top spots in GW’s lineup after posting a 16-10 singles record one year ago, competing primarily at the No. 2 position. After earning an 8-3 singles mark this fall, Coach Buth believes Pascarella is a vital component to the Colonials’ success.
“Leah has taken advantage of every opportunity given to her as a student-athlete and it has paid off. Through her day-in and day-out commitment and hard work, she is developing into an exceedingly experienced and mentally tough player,” Coach Buth said. “Leah is not only an outstanding athlete, she has tremendous character and consistently serves as an example for our team.”
Hamling, who posted a 7-2 record at the No. 4 singles position last year and a 4-3 mark this fall, has matured into a strong competitor during her three years at GW. As a resilient doubles partner, Hamling and then-senior Zoe Krohn compiled a notable 18-7 record as the No. 1 duo last spring.
“Mimi is a very quick and versatile player and she consistently has more tools than some of her most seasoned opponents,” said Coach Buth. “Mimi will continue to serve an essential leadership function on our team and be a vital component of our singles and doubles line-up.”
Escobar and Lysienia provide experience and depth to the Colonials’ lineup. Competing at the Nos. 4 and 5 singles positions, Escobar went 13-8 last season while also posting a 12-7 No. 2 doubles record with partner Pascarella. Lysienia did not compete during the 2012 spring season.
“Dorota and Isabella are very much part of the glue that keeps this team together. Dorota is an incredible fighter, she has the championship quality of simply never giving up,” said Coach Buth. “Isabella shows up each and every day with a smile and it has a positive impact on her teammates.”
Robins highlights the newcomers to the Colonials’ squad following a breakout fall season. Aside from claiming the Georgetown Classic doubles crown with Hamling, Robins won three straight matches to advance to, and through Round 1, of the USTA/ITA Atlantic Regional.
“Lana is one of the most accountable and hardest working players I’ve come across in over a decade of coaching,” Coach Buth said. “She raises the bar in terms of our competitiveness at practice and in matches. I am confident that her commitment and focus will lead and strengthen our team this spring.”
Coach Buth also expects fellow freshmen Carpenter, Jakuciunaite and Wei to contribute to the lineup and believes the trio will assist in the Colonials’ success as they search for an A-10 title.
“Christy is a phenomenal teammate. Her eagerness to learn and improve is unmatched and will pay off immensely in the months and seasons to come,” Coach Buth said. “Egle has the distinctive capability of being both a smart and strong player. As she develops her anticipation and footwork, she’ll be a powerful contributor for our team. Stephanie is an exceptional athlete and with more focused practices and a commitment to mental toughness her game will evolve and she will surprise many in the college ranks.”
“We have proven we are able to compete at a high level against tough teams,” said Coach Buth. “Knowing we can win is the first step. We have to believe in ourselves and commit to consistently doing the hard work it takes to be the championship team we aspire to be.”
The Colonials have put together a tough spring schedule, highlighted by a Spring Break trip to California, as part of a 17-match lineup.
GW hosts eight matches this spring, including five at the outdoor GW Tennis Center and three inside at the Montclair Country Club (MCC) in Montclair, Va., which serves as the Colonials’ home court during the winter months. The Colonials host conference foes Temple (3/30) and Fordham (4/13) while the remainder of their league matches are on the road against Saint Joseph’s (2/16), Duquesne (2/17) and Richmond (3/23).
The Buff and Blue will spend its Spring Break week on a West Coast swing, competing against Cal State Fullerton and UC Santa Barbara, in addition to having the unique opportunity to attend the BNP Paribas Open, a professional tournament at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.
“Our trip to California will be a great experience for these young women,” Buth said. “Our players will have the opportunity to watch world class tennis, compete against strong West Coast teams and perform in front of local family and friends. It will also serve as a great chance for us to connect with our terrific alumni and supporters of the program.”
After falling to eventual A-10 champion Richmond in the quarterfinals of last year’s conference tournament, Coach Buth believes GW has put together a competitive schedule that will test the Colonials.
“We expect to complete a winning season and contend for the Atlantic 10 Championship,” said Coach Buth. “With five tough A-10 schools on the schedule, along with great non-conference competition, we plan to enter the conference championship in April with the preparation necessary to achieve our goals.”
For the full release on the Colonials' 2013 spring schedule, please click here.