2003 womens tennis preview
Tennis team ready for second season back
By Ben Risinger, SID
August 19, 2003
Being the second year that the team is back in action, head coach Nate Smith looks for his women's tennis team to grow and mature this season. Smith returns a good amount of players and brings in a few new faces to help round off the lineup for 2003.
Last season, the Beavers came close a few times, but couldn't push out a win. Hindering the Beavers was the fact that they had to wait for the tennis courts to be finished, limiting practice time last year before school started. Senior Nikki Phillips was selected as All-HCAC and lost to graduation. However, this season Smith looks for his team to gel and put some wins on the map. They have the chemistry; it's now time for the team to come together.
"We are far ahead of where we were last year," Smith said. "The situation in general is much better for us now. We are starting earlier, which I believe will pay off down the road and in the conference championships."
Jenna Liechty (Goshen, Ind./Bethany Christian) will start at the number one spot for the Beavers. Junior Stephanie Keefe (Tiffin/Calvert),sophomore Kara Schrock (Middlebury, Ind./Northridge) and freshmen Lisa Cherry (Waterville/Anthony Wayne) will round off the top four contenders for Bluffton in singles action. Cherry played mostly doubles in high school, but Smith looks for her to break into one of the top spots in singles. Jenna Neuenschwander (Berne, Ind./South Adams) will be a good returner as the top doubles player, but is hampered due to injury.
"We have conference and non-conference matches that will be very competitive for us this year. We will face some very good NAIA and conference schools early on," Smith said. "We have some individuals that will be competitive throughout the season."
Other players on the roster this season include senior Melinda Meuleman (Pioneer/North
Central), junior Jenni Blose (Fostoria/Fostoria), sophomore Julie Harsha (Berne, Ind./South
Adams), and freshmen Kimleeta Davis (Detroit, Mich./Mumford).
"They (team) create the chemistry themselves," Smith said. "They enjoy playing and being around each other, so I don't have to worry at all about our team coming together. The girls are a really good group."