TUESDAY, AUGUST 28, 2012
Tennis Announces Fall Schedule
MELBOURNE, Fla. (Men’s and Women’s Tennis) – Head coach Bill Macom released Florida Tech’s men’s and women’s tennis fall schedules on Tuesday. Both squads will open the season at home at the Panther Invitational beginning Friday, Sept. 21 at the Fee Avenue Courts.
“The fall season is short,” Macom said. “It is only about three weeks long, which makes it tough to prepare for the tournaments, but the players have spent the summer conditioning with match play. The Panther Invitational will provide the opportunity for everyone to play. There will be several flights of singles and doubles matches. It will be a good lead into the season.”
Both squads will then travel to Lakeland, Fla. to compete at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association South Regional beginning on Sept. 27. The singles and doubles regional champions receive an automatic bid to compete at Small College Nationals in Mobile, Ala., which begins on Oct. 11 and runs through Oct. 14.
“Our top four singles and top two doubles teams from both squads will get to compete at the ITA,” Macom said. “We will develop our rotations after our fall [Panther] invitational.”
After the regional, the women’s team will finish the fall season at the Georgia College Invitational. The invitational will run from Oct. 5-7. The men’s team will compete at the Suntree Splash tournament, an all doubles competition, on Sept. 28 concurrently with the regional, before heading to the Varner Invitational in Winter Park on Oct. 5.
The 2012-13 season will bring new faces to the tennis programs. The men’s team lost five of its 17 players, but has brought in four freshmen and one transfer. The women’s team, however, lost four of its 11 players, and will welcome five newcomers as well.
“All of our doubles teams for both the men and the women have been broken up from last year,” Macom said. “Practice over the next few weeks is going to dictate who our doubles teams will be. Over the next three weeks we are going to focus on building team chemistry to determine the rotation.”
The key returners in the women’s lineup are Kristina Huba, Stephanie Dohner, Abbey Keister and Katie Close.
Huba, named South Region Player to Watch in May, is coming off an impressive season where she went 17-5 in singles, including 8-4 as the No. 1 and 9-1 as the No. 2. Huba, a long side her sister Katarina Huba, recorded a 17-7 doubles record. She finished the season ranked No. 33 in the ITA Division II Poll and No. 10 in the South Region, while also being named to the All-Sunshine State Conference Singles and Doubles first teams.
Dohner and Keister return as the only seniors on the roster with plenty of experience playing as singles starters. Close returns for her sophomore campaign after finishing 6-2 in singles and 7-2 in doubles as a freshman.
Four freshmen and one transfer will join the women’s team in 2012. Charlotte Fahnehjelm and Jessica Widmark both bring over a decade of experience from club teams in Stockholm, Sweden. Fahnehjelm played 10 years at the Saltsjobaden’s Lawn Tennis Club, while Widmark played 14 years for Malarhojden. Flavia Zisi Tegou hails from Thessaloniki, Greece and will major in biochemistry, and Chloe Chanley, a native of Louisville, Ky., was a four-year letter winner in tennis at Ballard High School.
Transferring from Shoreline Community College in Shoreline, Wash., is Mandy Lam. Lam, from Hong Kong, finished third in singles at the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges Championships last season.
“Charlotte is a top-ranked player from Sweden a long with Jessica,” Macom said. “They have already competed together in Stockholm and should make an impact early. Flavia is joining our team from Greece with a lot of experience. Mandy is transferring in after a successful stint as a singles No. 1 in junior college, and Chloe is a solid doubles player coming to us from Kentucky.”
On the men’s side, Macom returns 12 players from the 2011-12 season, including 2012 All-Sunshine State Conference First Team Singles selection Nicolas Clerc. Also returning are starters Daniel Armellino, Beau Fieldsend, Barry Dylewski and Riley Lorenz. Junior Bruno Rodrigues returns after suffering a season-ending injury a year ago, and Matic Leskovar will get his first action after transferring to Florida Tech last spring.
“Matic is a top junior college transfer that sat out the spring season,” Macom said. “He has the potential to come in and start as a No. 1 or No. 2 singles player for us this season.
“We have added four newcomers to the roster. Patrick Hernandez has the potential to start at singles and on one of the top doubles teams.”
Joining the men’s team in 2012 will be Eric Bettinger, José Bird, Hernandez and Emilio Preis. Bettinger, a native of Severn, Md., played four years for the Baltimore Tennis Patrons. Bird and Hernandez are both successful tennis players who hail from Puerto Rico. Preis, a native of Ecuador, played six years at Unidad Educativa Javier and plans to major in business administration.
The fall campaign will begin on Sept. 21, when Florida Tech hosts the Panther Invitational at the Fee Avenue Courts.