BEREA, Ohio – An infusion of talented freshmen will add to an already experienced Baldwin Wallace University women's tennis team as it seeks a return to the top of the Ohio Athletic Conference in 2017-18.
Veteran Head Coach Jack Bethlenfalvy welcomes back seven letterwinners who got valuable experience across all spots in both the doubles and singles lineup. Four freshmen will join the team that posted an 8-13 overall record and a 4-4 mark in the conference last season.
"It's exciting to see new players come in and old players come back, to see how much they developed over the summer," Bethlenfalvy said.
All-OAC players junior Imani Robinson (Cincinnati/School for Creative & Performing Arts) and sophomore Liz Radkiewicz (Powell/Olentangy Liberty) highlight the returners. Robinson, who earned her second-team All-OAC honor her freshman year, faced some stiff competition at the No. 1 position last season and finished the year with 11 wins in doubles and five wins in singles. Radkiewicz received her All-OAC honorable mention with a team-leading 12 wins in singles, including a team-best 6-2 record in conference play. Robinson and Radkiewicz also paired together at No. 1 doubles to finish with a 7-10 record.
Senior Academic All-OAC players Kelly Peskura (Strongsville) and Kayla Eeg (Waterford, Pa./General McLane) along with fellow senior Shannon Finkenthal (Beachwood) all return for their final season as a Yellow Jacket. Peskura was second on the team in singles wins with nine while also compiling a 10-10 record in doubles a season ago. Finkenthal finished last year with an 8-7 record in doubles, including four wins against OAC opponents, and five wins in singles. Eeg made the most of her time on the court last season, earning three wins in doubles and five wins in singles and won both of the OAC matches she played.
Junior Kathleen Moser (Strongsville) and sophomore Emily Dahnert (Charlottesville, Va./The Covenant School) round out the returning portion of the lineup. Dahnert earned the team's most wins in doubles with 12 while also posting a 6-2 record in singles play. Moser finished the season with a 7-7 record in doubles and earned three wins in limited singles play.
Dahnert, Moser, Peskura and Radkiewicz will not be playing this fall due to injuries and the opportunities available through BW's study abroad program. .
Making an immediate impact in the lineup will be freshmen Jayde Robinson (Cincinnati/School for Creative & Performing Arts), Ashtyn Morris (Salem), Becca Liebler (Medina) and Emma Hubbard (Ortonville, Mich./Brandon).
"I expect big things from the freshmen," Bethlenfalvy said. "A lot of them will start, and start at the top. They will have a chance to step up and really improve this team. I'm anxious to see what they can do."
The collegiate tennis season is divided into a fall and a spring schedule with a majority of the matches being played in the spring.
"This fall, I want them to get out after every day and after every practice to learn from it and to try to improve," Bethlenfalvy said. "The fall season is a practice type season for us but the games still count. Ultimately, I want them to be ready for the OAC Tournament in the spring."
BW will open the fall portion of its 2017-18 schedule on Saturday, September 9, when it travels to Meadville, Pennsylvania, for the Nancy & Harvey Heath Gator Invitational hosted be Allegheny College inside the Robertson Tennis Complex. The Yellow Jackets will first take on Grove City (Pa.) College at 8:30 a.m. and will either play host Allegheny or Westminster (Pa.) College at 12 p.m.
The 2018 OAC Championships will be hosted in early May at the Linder Family Tennis Center in Mason.