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The Wilkes University women’s tennis team will open their 2007 campaign on Friday afternoon when they host local rival College Misericordia at 3:00 p.m. on the Courts at the Ralston Complex.
The Lady Colonels are coming off a record-setting season during which they posted an overall record of 18-2, won their first Freedom Conference championship, and made their first appearance in the NCAA Division III Tournament.
Head coach Chris Leicht, who was named the conference Coach of the Year in 2006, welcomes back five of his top seven singles players from a season ago, including sophomore Xioqiao Zhang. Zhang earned conference Player of the Year honors after posting a 19-2 singles record and winning the MAC number-one singles title.
Also returning is junior Alison McDonald, who joined Zhang on the All-Conference first team after compiling a 17-3 singles record out of the number-two position. Third singles player, junior Kristin Wilt, was a second team All-Conference selection last season. She registered a 15-4 record in individual play.
Sophomore Katie Buckley and junior Megan Bucher return to help bolster the Lady Colonels lineup. Buckley fashioned a 10-3 singles record playing out of the fifth and sixth positions, while Bucher was 8-1 while seeing action at four different spots.
Two other veterans also dot the Wilkes roster in sophomores Lauren Donmoyer and Caitlin Kelley. Donmoyer was 3-0 in singles play and Kelley posted a 2-0 singles record during their freshman year.
The Lady Colonels top two doubles teams from last season remain in tact. Zhang and Buckley went 11-6 playing out of the number-one singles position, while McDonald and Wilt were 15-6 at the second doubles spot.
Four freshmen will look to gain playing time this year. The quartet includes Victoria Bybel, Michelle Knight, Christina Skorupa and Sarah Walker.