With its four junior captains each playing at least one spot higher on the ladder than in previous years and a rotating group in the final two spots, the Muhlenberg women’s tennis team experienced some growing pains in 2010.
The Mules finished 5-5 in the Centennial Conference and 7-8 overall, failing to qualify for the postseason for the first time since 2007. The good news for Muhlenberg was that it recovered from a seven-match losing streak to win its final four matches of the season, allowing it to finish at least .500 in the CC for the 10th consecutive year despite that rough stretch.
Sutker ended the season leading all active Mules with 58 combined wins - 10th all-time at Muhlenberg - in spring dual matches.
With several players abroad, the Mules did not play their customary fall schedule. They opened the season with a loss to nationally ranked Vassar but then won three straight following spring break, including the first two in league play.
Another nationally ranked foe, eventual CC champion Johns Hopkins, snapped the winning streak and began the seven-match losing streak. All seven of the Mules’ opponents over that stretch were regionally ranked at some point during the season and three – Hopkins, Mary Washington and New Jersey – were nationally ranked.
The losing streak dropped Muhlenberg out of playoff contention, but it still reeled off four straight victories – the first three against CC teams – to close out the season. The late-season surge carried the Mules into the regional rankings for the ninth consecutive year; they ended the regular season ranked 15th in the Atlantic South.
Two Mules were honored following the season. Junior Caitie Druker was named to the All-Centennial Conference second team in both singles and doubles, and her partner, classmate Sara Sutker, was selected to the second team in doubles.
Druker became the fourth Mule to be named All-CC in both singles and doubles in the last six years.
Druker was 7-3 in the CC and 9-6 overall at No. 1 singles. Sutker was 8-2 in the league and 9-6 overall at No. 2, and the duo combined to go 6-3 in the CC at first doubles.
Juniors Danielle Winston and Lindsay Schmidt were 5-4 in the league at No. 2 doubles and 8-6 overall. Winston went 7-3 in the CC at No. 3 singles and Schmidt was 5-4 at No. 4.
Both pairings eclipsed the previous school record for career doubles wins by a team and ended the season tied for the lead with 28 apiece.
Juniors Chelsey Waldron and Deniz Uzel and freshman Amanda von Taube rounded out the lineup.