Preview: Women's Tennis Ready to Spring Ahead

Tuesday, March 12, 2013
 

Football honor

Just like the clocks move forward in the spring, so will the Muhlenberg women’s tennis team.

Amanda von Taube
After posting only three singles wins in her first two seasons, von Taube won nine last year, her first as a regular in the lineup.
After narrowly missing the Centennial Conference playoffs by last year and dropping two matches in the fall sans their top two singles players, who were studying abroad, the Mules are ready to kick things into gear.

They had one match prior to Spring Break against a nationally ranked Vassar team, and they are scheduled to begin their regular spring schedule with a home match on Thursday against Elizabethtown, which is ranked No. 12 in the Atlantic South Region. (Note: Shortly after this story was published, the Elizabethtown match was postponed to April 11. The next scheduled match for the Mules is at home on Monday vs. CC rival Bryn Mawr.)

Amanda von Taube is the only senior in the singles rotation and, although many of Muhlenberg’s top players are juniors or sophomores, they have the experience of last year’s season to use as a springboard for this year.

“It’s basically the same group of girls playing in the lineup this year, so I think that’s really going to help us,” said von Taube. “Last year we were relatively new and this year we definitely know our partners a lot better and are more comfortable with them.”

Jennifer Goldberg
Goldberg has a career singles record of 17-7.
A two-time captain, von Taube says she is excited for the start of conference play and the return of her teammates who were staying abroad during the fall. She is also pleased with the condition that her team is in at the start of the season.

“What’s been great about this year is that we’ve really been working on our off-court fitness and not just playing tennis, but really going to the gym and working out,” she explained. “So I think that we’re going to come in a lot stronger both mentally and physically.”

The Mules were 5-9 overall last season, with an even 5-5 mark in CC play. Four of their nine losses were by the score of 5-4, three of those to teams that made the CC playoffs.

Muhlenberg’s top three singles spots will be filled by junior Nina Sanders (No.1), junior Emily Szulman (No. 2) and sophomore Jennifer Goldberg (No. 3). Sophomore Sharen Reskinoff, von Taube and junior Gabriela Contino will round out the remaining three spots. Goldberg posted a 10-4 singles record last spring, and she and Contino each went 7-3 in CC singles play.

“What’s really great about our team is that we have a lot of depth. We have Nina who plays number one and she’s fantastic, but we have talent all the way down the ladder to our number five and six singles players,” stated von Taube. “So we are really strong at the lower part of the ladder too – we have a good team all around.”

At the ITA Southeast Regional in September, Reskinoff reached the final in her singles draw and, along with von Taube, won a first-round match in the championship doubles draw. Reskinoff compiled a team-best 5-1 record in singles play in the fall.

In their practices, the Mules have been focusing on doubles play, which will be one of the keys to finding success this season.

“We really trying to work on our doubles – working well with our partners, communicating better and getting more confident at playing doubles,” explained von Taube. “I think that if we can improve at doubles, which is something we’re working on, then we will do really well this spring.”