Falcons Open Season at Gopher Invitational
Sept. 14, 2006
The Air Force women's tennis team opens its 2006-07 season this weekend at the 2006 Gopher Invitational at the Baseline Tennis Center in Minneapolis, Minn. The event runs Sept. 15-19, and features Minnesota, Air Force, Boston University, Iowa, Gonzaga, Missouri, Nebraska, Wichita State and Wisconsin-Green Bay competing in four singles brackets and two doubles draws. Play begins at 9 a.m., each day of the tournament. Check www.goairforcesports.com for results from the Gopher Invitational.
Falcon head coach Kim Gidley enters her ninth season as head coach of the women's tennis team at the Academy. The first civilian head coach in the 27-year history of the program, Gidley became the winningest coach in the history of the program in 2003 with her 76th victory. She recorded her 100th career victory last season against South Dakota State. She enters the `06-07 campaign with a 107-110 career record.
Despite losing her top player, Kat Bushey, to graduation, Gidley returns a strong nucleus for the '06-07 campaign. Sophomore Christine Abayan returns after setting a school record with Bushey last season for the most Division I doubles wins with 29. Senior team captain Kelly Morgan, along with juniors Lauren Wilson and Erika Shortridge and sophomore Meghan Kiser round out the returners.
Joining the team this season are six freshman, led by Rachel Knight of Austin, Texas, Erlyn Rudico of Duncanville, Texas and Catherine Haycraft of Minneapolis, Minn. Knight placed fourth at the Texas state tournament as a senior and was ranked 83rd in the country in the 16-and-under division in 2004. Rudico won the district singles championship three times, while Haycraft was a three-time all-conference performer at Academy of the Holy Angels School.