Falcons Open Spring Season at Colorado on Saturday
Jan. 15, 2010
The Air Force women's tennis team opens its 2010 spring schedule this Saturday, Jan. 16 when it face in-state rival University of Colorado beginning at 11 a.m. The match will be played at the Harvest House Tennis Courts in Boulder.
Head coach Kim Gidley is in her 12th season at Air FOrce and has a school-record 133 career victories.
Here is the 2009-10 season preview for the Air Force women's tennis team:
Coming off a season in which the Air Force women's tennis team had just one senior and one junior, the 2009-10 campaign, as well as the near future, looks very bright for head coach Kim Gidley and the Falcons.
Despite the graduation of '08-09 team MVP Christine Abayan, the Falcons enter this season with plenty of experience and potential. Several young players played at top-end positions last season, giving them valuable experience for the next couple of years.
The lone senior on this year's squad is Erlyn Rudico, who posted 12 doubles victories during the season and was named to the MWC all-academic team for the third consecutive year and an ITA Academic All-American.
This year's junior class really stepped things up in '08-09, having the top three singles win totals on the team. Christen Monreal and Sarah Cassman tied for the team lead with 22 overall singles wins, the second consecutive 20-win season for each of them. Monreal was also the first player since Laura Nigro (a five -time Mountain West all-conference selection) to win 20 matches in both singles and doubles during the same season. Monreal began the spring season at the No. 2 spot and was named MWC Player of the Week and USAFA Athlete of the Week in February. The last 10 dual matches, Monreal moved to the No. 1 spot and defeated the MWC all-conference singles player from Wyoming in straight sets to end the season. Katrina Eromin tied Monreal for the team lead with 15 dual match singles wins, while Cassman was a close third with 14.
Three sophomores return from last season, including Allie Chermel, who posted an impressive 16-9 overall doubles record (15-7 mark in dual matches with Monreal). They had an 11-match winning streak during the middle of the season and went 3-4 against MWC opponents. In singles, Chermel also had a solid season winning 15 singles matches. The other two sophomores, Shannon Young and Tahlia Smoke were the only two Falcons to finish the season with a winning record in singles.
Gidley is very excited about this season's freshman class, which was ranked as a Top 25 recruiting class in the country according to tennisrecruiting.net. Leading the way are three 4-STAR recruits, Melissa Cecil (Huntington Beach, Calif.), Hannah Dake (Excelsior, Minn.) and Christine Molina (Dallas, Texas). These three should make an immediate impact in the line-up with their valuable national junior experience. Cecil was a two-time league champion in doubles and won a singles league championship at Ocean View High School. Dake was ranked in the top two for her age group in the USTA Northwest Section since she was 12 and ranked in the top 80 nationally in the 16-and-under age group. Molina, meanwhile, was a two-time TAPPS (Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools) state singles champion while at the Ursuline Academy of Dallas and won the TAPPS state doubles title as a sophomore. She was ranked No. 11 in the state of Texas.
Also joining the team this season are Lindsey Mueller (Granbury, Texas) and Erin Conley (Colorado Springs, Colo.). Mueller qualified for the Texas Regionals in mixed doubles and played No. 1 doubles as a senior at Granbury High School. Conley was ranked No. 56 in the Intermountain Region and posted a 9-2 record at No. 1 singles as a senior at Rampart High School.
The Falcons will once again play a challenging schedule in 2009-10. The spring season opens against in-state rival Colorado on Jan. 16 in Boulder. The schedule also includes matches at Nebraska and Alabama-Birmingham, followed by a spring break trip to Hawaii. In April, Mountain West Conference matches begin in Fort Worth followed by a string of home matches against BYU (April 9),Utah (April 10), Colorado State (April 11) and Wyoming (April 24). The Falcons will also travel to San Diego for MWC play and then finish the season at the 2010 MWC Championships, which begin April 28 in Las Vegas, Nev.