Tennis team optimistic about second half of season

Although the women’s tennis team started the season with a loss, this spring season is looking very promising in the eyes of coach Penny Dean.

Throughout last fall, the team played in a few invitationals, including the BGSU Invitational, to get ready for conference play in the spring.

“We could easily be in the top two or three if we perform when things are on the line,” Dean said. “In the [Mid-American Conference], tennis is so close that anyone could beat anyone on a given night, so we just have to perform.”

The team is currently looking forward to its big matches against Ball State and Toledo on April 7 and April 21 respectively.

These are marked matches for two reasons. First, BG lost to both teams last year in matches that Dean feels they should have won, and secondly because of the annual battle these two engage in for recruitment. Many girls on BG’s team were recruited by both teams and decided to go with BG.

This year’s team is the true definition of a team – to contribute to their winning efforts not every player has to be a stand out or an all-star on the court. Senior Erica Wolfe is a team captain and vocal leader. Chances are she won’t be the star on the team that everyone points to, but she is necessary to the team.

“She’s always out there encouraging the girls and coaching them – she is very enthusiastic and all of the girls want her out there,” Dean said.

Ashley Jakupcin and Jenna Nussbaum are the team’s other two captains. Jakupcin and Nussbaum are two of the team’s leaders on and off the court, having been starters since they arrived at BG. According to Dean, these two have a little extra edge and are always getting fired up, which in turn contributes to the team’s morale and fires them up as well.

“The way they play gets the other girls excited – Jenna plays at the net a lot and gets a lot of exciting points and Ashley is determined to succeed every time she goes on the court,” Dean said.

These captains are going to be needed to help coach the younger players. BG has two freshmen that get into the starting line-up in Sam Kintzel and Katia Babina. Both these players came in and displayed skills and knowledge of the game, but will need help adjusting to the college life and the college game.

According to Dean, the captains of this year’s team should be able to help guide them to the top few spots in the conference, and if everyone does their part, they should be very successful.