The College’s women’s tennis team boasted a 14-3 record last spring which included 10 shutout wins. The Lions also continued their New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) winning streak, which now stands at 106 straight wins.
This season, the Lions will look to extend their conference winning streak as they endure five conference matches. In doing so, they will return sophomore Christina Contrafatto, the 2004 NJAC Rookie of the Year and NJAC Player of the Year, along with three NJAC All-Stars, junior Kristen Turturiello in singles and doubles, senior Jackie Gavornik in doubles and Ayumi Yamazaki in singles.
Head coach Scott Dicheck praises the team’s strength and on-the-court intelligence, but he also believes the Lions are lacking one thing in their powerful lineup.
“We need to work on becoming a quicker team and increase the overall speed of our game,” Dicheck said. “Most of our drills will focus on quickness and court coverage. We have a strong doubles and singles mixture, but we have the potential to be even stronger.”
The Lions graduated only one player last spring, Katie D’Amato. A natural team leader, D’Amato went 12-2 in second doubles last season with Turturiello, and finished her stellar singles career at 44-23.
To help make up for the loss of graduated seniors on both the women’s and men’s side, Dicheck has brought in six freshmen, his biggest recruiting class yet.
“This will give us more depth on both sides,” Dicheck said. “These are talented kids with good high school careers behind them, but they still have to come in and earn their positions on the court.”
The women will see an impact from a trio of players. Incoming freshmen Haley Kutner, Erica Ollinick and Lindsey Katzel will all be fighting for starting spots this fall.
The women’s team will join the men’s squad to begin the season at the Lions Kickoff Tournament on Sept. 10-11.
The Lions will get their season going Labor Day weekend as they play John Jay College at the Ramapo College Invitational on Sept. 3, and New York Polytech the following day.