Season Preview: Women's Tennis Hoping For Right "Fit"

Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - page 3
 

Nina Sanders
Sanders went 6-2 in CC singles play last season.
Wind sprints, box jumps and lunges are usually associated with workouts for track and field, basketball or soccer.

But the Muhlenberg women’s tennis team hopes a new focus on fitness training will pay off with more continued success this spring.

While the team still spends most of its time working on the court and hitting thousands of balls, junior captain Amanda von Taube said there’s been a lot more running and dynamic training going on around Kern Field Courts.

And the Mules will get a chance to see the potential rewards when they travel to Elizabethtown on Thursday and open CC play on Friday at Bryn Mawr.

“We’ve really focused on our fitness a lot more. We’re doing a lot more and really cracking the whip,” she said. “It should definitely help us keep our stamina up in longer matches and help us get to a lot more balls. Hopefully it will really pay off this year.”

But even more noticeable during the team’s practices, von Taube said, has actually been what’s missing.

Last year’s senior class was one of the most successful in Mule history. All four players finished their careers in

Amanda von Taube
Von Taube went 2-0 in singles and 2-1 in doubles dual matches last spring.
the top 20 in school history in singles wins, and they combined to form the program’s top two winningest doubles teams.

But while von Taube said it will be a tall task to fill their spots, she believes the Mules have the talent to make their fifth Centennial Conference playoff appearance in the past seven years.

Leading the way will be sophomores Nina Sanders and Emily Szulman (7-2 in dual matches last season), who will move up to No. 1 and No. 2 singles, respectively.

They also combined to go 6-1 in doubles play and will form the No. 1 team this spring.

A pair of freshmen, Jennifer Goldberg and Sharen Resnikoff, showed a lot of promise during the fall and are expected to start at third and fourth singles. Goldberg won her draw at the ITA Southeast Regional in September, while Resnikoff advanced to the semifinals.

Sophomore Gabriela Contino (4-0 in CC play last season) and von Taube figure to round out the Mules’ starting six.

Some of the faces may be new, and the roles may have changed, but von Taube said she feels there’s more than enough talent on the squad to once again challenge for a spot in the top half of the conference.

And after taking a few practices to adjust to the new personnel, she added this year’s team has started to form its own identity and is prepared to make another playoff push.

“The first few practices were definitely strange; there was something missing in the atmosphere,” she said. “They were such a good group of girls and worked really well together.

“It’s a lot to take on, and there are some big shoes to fill, but I think we all learned a lot from them. We have a lot of talented players, and I definitely feel we can be successful this season.”