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The Wilkes University women’s tennis team enters the 2006 season anxious to try and build upon last season’s success. A year ago the Lady Colonels set a new school record by posting a 12-4 record and also earned their first bid to the Freedom Conference playoffs.
“We have high expectations for this season,” commented head coach Chris Leicht. “Last year we made playoffs for the first time and posted the most wins in school history. Our goal this year is to once again represent Wilkes University in the playoffs.”
The Lady Colonels are returning four starters, including sophomore Alison McDonald, who posted an overall record of 14-2 at the number-two singles position during the 2005 campaign, and Kristin Wilt, who went 7-10 from the number-one spot. The two paired up in the number-one doubles position and notched an 11-5 mark overall. Sara Ryder returns for her senior season after a 13-3 crusade at the number-three position. Wilkes will also receive help from sophomore Jotanna O’Connell, who boasted a 12-2 record overall last season while playing out of the fifth and sixth singles positions.
Juniors Kelly MacDonald and Amanda Calhoun, along with sophomores Megan Bucher and Darci Spohn, will bring their experience back to the courts for the Lady Colonels, as well. New members of the squad include sophomore Kaitlyn Wetzel, and Freshmen Katie Buckley, Lauren Donmoyer, Ashlee Gerardi, Caitlin Kelly, and Xiaoqiao Zhang.
“Although our team is young, we have a solid recruiting class coming from traditionally strong high school programs,” stated Leicht. “They are confident and not intimidated. Each member is capable of making valuable contributions to the program. Our biggest strength this season is the depth of our roster. Most teams have strong players at the first and second singles positions, but I feel we have strength at each position and are well balanced. Everyone on the roster will be competitive. This team is a very tight-knit group, ready to work hard and have fun.”