PLYMOUTH, N.H. - The varsity women's tennis team at Plymouth State College opens the 2001 season on Monday (Sept. 10) with a home match at the P.E. Center Courts.
The Panthers will host in-state rival Colby-Sawyer College at 3:30 p.m., the first of 11 dual matches in the 2001 campaign. PSC will play six home matches this fall, including four in the month of September.
Fourth-year head coach Judy Switzer welcomes back six veterans as well as a solid group of newcomers, including a transfer. The Panthers are seeking their first winning season since 1995.
PSC will be out to improve on its third-place finish at the Little East Conference Championships. This year's LEC Tournament is slated for Oct. 13-14 at the University of Southern Maine.
2001 PSC Women's Tennis Outlook
Plymouth State showed improvement in 2000, finishing with a 4-6 overall record. Switzer is hoping this year's team continues on the upswing.
"We have a lot more natural talent this year," said Switzer, "and I think we'll continue to improve. It's hard to tell until we play another team, but things look pretty good to me. We've got a great bunch of girls with a great work ethic, and that means a lot."
The Panthers have 12 players on the roster, and Switzer thinks the depth will be one of the strengths of the team. She has several players who can rotate throughout the bottom half of the line-up, giving the team some versatility.
"We have some players who will only play doubles this season," said Switzer. "That's something we haven't done before, so we'll have to wait and see when we get into competition."
The top of the Panther singles line-up will likely include junior Jamie Hazard (Foster, R.I.), a transfer from the University of New Hampshire, along with sophomore Cally Thorup (Cumberland, Maine) and junior Tracy Grosner (Milford, Conn.).
"Jamie has established herself as one of the top players on the team," said Switzer, "and Cally is hitting the ball beautifully. She is playing a lot stronger this year. Tracy should also be somewhere near the top of the line-up."
Switzer is pleased with the group of players who will fill out the rest of the singles line-up. This should include sophomore returnees Katie Olsen (Reading, Mass.) and Molly Barnaby (Portsmouth, N.H.), junior Sarah Kasuba (Stratford, Conn.) and sophomore newcomer Lindsay Coletti (Hudson, Mass.). Olsen posted to best singles record on the team last season with a 7-4 mark.
"I think that is a wonderful supporting cast," said Switzer. "I plan to switch a lot of these players around and give them all a chance."
Junior captain Stacy Wright (Harwich, Mass.) and freshman Kelley Sheehan (Newburyport, Mass.) lead the doubles line-up. Rounding out the roster is sophomore Holly Mills (Reading,Mass.) and freshmen Cassie Cash (Bath, Maine) and Rebecca Love (Bedford, N.H.).
"We have dwelled on improving our game," said Switzer. "We want to try and read the players we're playing, find their weaknesses, and play an intelligent game. It's the little things that are going to help us."