Women's Tennis Ready for Season Opener at Saint Louis
Sept. 10, 2002
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - - The University of Memphis women's tennis team is ready for its fall schedule opener at the Saint Louis Invitational Tournament beginning Friday.
The Lady Tigers, who finished with a 5-16 record in 2001-2002, have many reasons to be excited about the upcoming season, including the return of a pair of all-conference honorees in seniors Sabrina Lindemann and Monica Gonzalez-Gordo and the addition of four newcomers, including a pair of sophomores and a pair of freshmen.
"One of the things that makes me really excited about this upcoming season is the depth of our roster," Head Coach Charlotte Peterson said. Peterson had just six people on last season's roster and despite the strength at the top of the line-up that Lindemann and Gonzalez-Gordo provided, the Lady Tigers were not getting many points from the bottom of the line-up to win matches.
"Our training has been going very well and has been very competitive," Peterson said. "Our three new student-athletes from Austria have done a very good job of adjusting to the heat and humidity of Memphis and our workouts and conditioning have been very good."
The three new additions from Austria join Lindemann to make the total number of Austrian natives on the Lady Tiger roster four.
"I think we'll probably see Sabrina and Monica at No. 1 and 2 again, at least early in the season," Peterson said. "Viktoria Gruber is still adjusting to the hard courts and I think we'll give her some time this year before throwing her up against No. 1 and 2's right away."
Gruber, a sophomore transfer from the University of Vienna, is tentatively slated to play in the B bracket at the Saint Louis tournament while Lindemann and Gonzalez-Gordo are penciled into the A bracket.
"Sabrina and Monica both finished the season well last year and have a lot of confidence," Peterson said. "Plus I think as a doubles team they'll do very well again at No. 1 this year."
Lindemann was a second-team all-conference honoree after posting an 11-10 record at No. 1 singles and teaming with Gonzalez-Gordo to post a 19-2 record at No. 1 doubles. Gonzalez-Gordo had one of the best singles seasons in school history, posting a 13-1 record overall, including a 12-1 mark at No. 2 singles. She earned third team all-conference honors for that feat.
The other Lady Tiger in the B bracket will be senior Sumitra Rao. Rao finished with a 12-3 record last year at No. 3 singles and teamed with graduated senior Annika Westberg for an 8-13 record at No. 2 doubles.
Newcomer Andrea Feichtinger will play in the C bracket of the tournament and may be joined in that bracket by freshman Kristin Noble (Germantown, Tenn./Houston High School). Noble is battling an illness right now and may miss the tournament this weekend. Should Noble not be available or at full strength, Peterson said she may move newcomer Marlene Dirnstorfer up to play in the C bracket. The D bracket will be either Dirnstorfer and junior Rebecca Garner, Garner and Noble or just Garner, depending on Noble's health.
"With our depth in our line-up, I think we have the ability to be in the finals in all the divisions this weekend," Peterson said. "But that's why these fall tournaments are so important. They provide me with a chance to see the team compete against players from other teams without there being any pressure about the team score. I can toy with the singles line-up and also see which players will work together in our doubles line-up."
The Saint Louis tournament is one of four fall tournaments on the Lady Tiger schedule, not including the ITA Southeast Regional, which individual players must qualify for. The Lady Tigers will host their own fall tournament at the refinished HPER courts on campus, Oct. 18-20.
Eastern Illinois, Memphis, Saint Louis, Southeast Missouri State, Wichita State and Xavier are all competing in this weekend's tournament. The brackets will be posted later in the week.