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Tennis team set for two road matches to start winter season

The women’s tennis team will pick up again today after being temporarily interrupted by winter break. Head coach Penny Dean, in her 19th season with the Falcons, and 23rd season as a collegiate head coach, has the team in good hands as they begin spring play.

Dean is looking to build upon the accomplishments of last year, and to be just as successful this season.

“We had a successful season last year, and the players got a taste of that,” Dean said. “[We] always want to improve and do as well or better than last year.”

During the fall Mid-American Conference Championships, Christine Chiricosta, Katia Babina and Stefanie Menoff all reached the final round before being defeated by their respective opponents. In October, senior Kelsey Jakupcin and sophomore Chiricosta advanced to the third round of the ITA Midwest Regional Championships before ending their fall season.

Chiricosta, who took the second place title at the BGSU Invitational in September, is looking forward to coming back and hitting the courts after a long break.

“It’s difficult having a break in the season, but it’s also nice to rest. We put a lot of wear and tear on our bodies and it’s good to have that time.” Chiricosta said.

Dean and Chiricosta both feel that the Falcons have a good chance of winning a MAC title this year, especially as the championship will be played at BGSU in April.

“We came up short last year, but we made it to the final four,” Chiricosta said. “There’s no reason not to win it this year.”

According to Dean, several injuries slowed the team down last year, but she thinks the women are prepared to make up for last year, and recover what was lost.

“We had a great season [last year] until conference [when we] lost momentum from earlier,” Dean said. “As long as we can keep that momentum up between matches and through conference, we should have no problem.”

Chiricosta feels that the tennis team has what it takes to have another successful season.

“The key thing is to continue with high intensity practices. We’re hard workers, and we really push each other in competition,” she said.

The Falcons will play their next two matches on the road and then head home for their next four. The team will kick off their spring season today at Duquesne in Pittsburgh.

For news, notes and opinions on all BG sports, check out www.bgnewssports.com.

Contact sports reporter Morgan Carlson at [email protected].

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