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Muhlenberg College

Monday, February 18, 2008

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Season Preview
Women’s tennis aims high for spring

Amanda Clifford
Clifford won two matches at No. 3 doubles last year.
Charged with high expectations and promising arsenal of talent, the Muhlenberg women’s tennis team returns to the court for the beginning of the spring season.

Following a mediocre 2006-07 campaign, which saw the Mules finish with a 5-9 overall record, the team is motivated to regain its reputation as a Centennial Conference powerhouse.

Head coach Linda Andrews, who is in her 24th year in the helm of the Mules, relies on a core of experienced players as well as gifted freshmen, who are primed to make immediate impact on the squad.

“We have a lot of old and new talent this season,” senior co-captain Amanda Clifford said. “I’m confident we’ll make it all the way to the conference championships. We are capable of winning the title.”
Jacquelyn Magner
Magner reached the quarterfinals in the doubles blue draw at the ITA Regional in the fall.

Junior Jenn Powell returns at No. 1 singles, where she compiled a 9-5 spring record, including a 7-3 mark in the conference.

Following a highly successful season, junior Carly Rotfeld will come back as Muhlenberg’s No. 3 racket. A year ago, Rotfeld finished with an impressive 13-1 singles season record and climbed up to 15th place in the all-time career singles wins list with 23 victories after only two seasons with the Mules.

Half of the team is comprised of ambitious freshmen, who will vie for playing time with the other returning players. In spite of the lack of experience at the collegiate level, the newcomers made a statement during the fall following an 8-1 rout of Moravian and successful performances in both ITA Southeast Regional and Centennial Conference Invitational.

Caitie Druker will lead all freshmen as she is figured to start at No. 2 singles. Druker will pair up with another freshman, Sara Sutker, at No. 2 doubles.

Powell and Rotfeld have already started to establish a formidable partnership at No. 1 doubles. They had the chance to work on their chemistry during fall tennis action, when the duo reached the final of the CC Invitational.

Muhlenberg’s first challenge will be against nationally ranked opposition, No. 25 Vassar, on Sunday. The Mules occupy the ninth spot in the Atlantic South region according to the latest edition of the ITA regional rankings.

“We are very enthusiastic and optimistic about the upcoming season,” senior co-captain Jacquelyn Magner said. “We have a great relationship as a team. Practice is going very well and it’s just a matter of putting it into action.”

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