Colonials Open Season This Weekend Against Drexel, Penn
Jan. 28, 2011
WASHINGTON, DC - GW women's tennis opens the 2011 season this weekend in Philadelphia where it takes on Drexel at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 28. The Colonials remain in Philadelphia to take on Penn on Sunday, Jan. 30 at 1:00 p.m.
The Colonials start the spring season with returning to the Atlantic 10 Championship finals in their sights. Last season, the squad found the right form and combination on the court to make a run to the A-10 Championship finals against Richmond, defeating St. Bonaventure, Duquesne and Charlotte along the way.
Led by the 2010 Atlantic 10 Women's Coach of the Year Dawn Buth and her assistant coaches Pamela Duran and Chris Tran, the Colonials compiled 11 victories in their second-place finish, their highest total since the 2001-02 season.
"Our co-captains, Jennifer Hirsh and Jacqueline Corba, exhibited impressive leadership this fall and will play an instrumental role for us by providing unwavering and proactive leadership in the spring," said Buth. "Pam, Chris, and I are looking forward to a truly exciting season."
GW co-captains Hirsh and Corba headline seven returners and three newcomers on the 2011 squad. Hirsh compiled a 7-13 singles record at No. 4 singles and 7-7 at No. 3 doubles. Corba, posted a 17-4 record at No. 1 singles position for the Colonials, earning first team A-10 All-Conference honors with sophomore teammate Mimi Hamling. In her first collegiate season, Hamling went 11-10 at No. 2 singles and 13-7 at No. 1 doubles. Sophomore Dorota Lysienia was named to the All-Conference second team for her tough play at the No. 3 singles position for GW.
Junior Meg Tyner sat out the fall season due to injury but was able to bounce back to perform well for the Colonials at the 5 and 6 singles positions, finishing 13-6 in singles action and 6-5 in doubles. Junior Zoe Krohn teamed up with Hamling at No. 1 doubles, posting a 9-7 record, while battling injuries about midway through the season. Sophomore Sarah Smith will also push to represent the Colonials in the top 6 singles.
Freshmen Leah Pascarella, Isabella Escobar and Julia Blakeley each made an immediate impact for the Colonials as they got a handle on collegiate tennis during the fall 2010 season. Pascarella comes to GW as a four-year Illinois state tennis qualifier for Lincoln-Way East High in Frankfort, IL, and holds the Griffins school record with 111 singles victories. Blakeley, native of Irvine, CA, native, has extensive experience in tournament play defeating players nationally ranked as high as 18. Escobar, an experienced International Tennis Federation (ITF) player, joins the squad from Guatemala City, Guatemala.
The spring 2011 schedule has the Colonials on the road to Philadelphia the last weekend in January to face Drexel and Penn before hosting area rivals George Mason and Howard to kick off February. The Colonials travel to Florida for matches against Florida Gulf Coast and Nova Southeastern March 13 and 15.
"With last season's success will come new challenges however as we lose a key element of surprise and gain the expectation that our fellow A-10 opponents will raise their level of competition against us in dual match and tournament play," said Buth. "If we are to be successful again this year, we'll need to work twice as hard, demonstrate exceptional adaptability, and sustain a disciplined approach to practices and matches."
GW has Atlantic 10 foes Temple, Duquesne, Richmond and Saint Joseph's on this year's schedule to prepare for the 2011 Atlantic 10 Championship at The Boar's Head Sports Club in Charlotte, NC, April 8-10.
"This year's team has great potential for success," said Buth. "We have incredible enthusiasm and experience from our returning starters Corba, Hamling, and Lysienia, while our three newcomers, Pascarella, Blakeley, and Escobar, will all have an immediate and exciting impact on our line-up this spring."