Falcons Open '08-09 Campaign at Gopher Invitational
Sept. 11, 2008
The Air Force women's tennis team kicks off its 2008-09 season this weekend at the Gopher Invitational in Minneapolis, Minn. The three-day tournament, hosted by the University of Minnesota, begins on Friday, Sept. 12. Joining the Falcons will be players from Iowa State, LSU, Northern Iowa, Iowa, Nebraska, Eastern Michigan, South Dakota, Gustavus Adolphus and Minnesota.
Kim Gidley, entering her 11th season as head coach, has seven letterwinners returning this season, led by seniors Christine Abayan and Meghan Kiser. Abayan has played the majority of her three-year career at either No. 1 or No. 2 singles, while Kiser played most of last season at the No. 3 singles spot.
Sophomores Christen Monreal and Sarah Cassman also return after posting 21 and 20 singles wins last season, respectively. Monreal won a team-high 13 dual singles matches and was named AFA's Female Athlete of the Week on March 3. Cassman won the same award on Feb. 18 after saving three match points to win the No. 5 singles match against Montana State, helping the Falcons to a 4-3 victory.
Gidley is very excited about her six-player freshman class this season. The only freshman traveling to Minnesota this weekend is Tahlia Smoke (Belmar, N.J.). Smoke posted a perfect 30-0 singles record as a senior in high school en route to winning the New Jersey state singles championship. She finished her high school career with a 110-10 record. Joining Smoke this season are freshmen Allie Chermal (Dallas, TX), Shelley Johnson (Phoenix, Ariz.), Joanna Pattugalan (Irvine, CA), Megumi Voight (Alpharetta, Ga.) and Shannon Young (Salem, Ore.).
Please check out www.goairforcefalcons.com for updates throughout the Gopher Invitational.