Women’s tennis has plenty of depth for the upcoming season

The women’s tennis team had a lot of injuries to overcome in the fall.

Many young players were forced to step up right away and show that they could make it in intercollegiate tennis.

After finishing with a record of 5-6, including a 2-1 record at home, the lady Marauders are optimistic that the spring season will be a success.

Head Coach Shari Bucklin-Webber is prepared to lead a young team with a lot of depth.  Leading the way is junior Andrea Konas.

Konas played number-one singles and doubles in the fall and is expected to do the same this spring.  This experience should help her play against the top competition in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference.

Bucklin-Webber noticed that she improved with every match, and it is likely that she will continue to get better throughout this season.

Jenny Habecker is the only senior on the team.  With this comes the duty of being looked up to by her younger, less experienced teammates.

“Her leadership on and off the court is an essential part of the team,” Bucklin-Webber said.

The team will have to rely on a lot of its young talent to play at a high level in order to accomplish its goal of making it to PSAC Championships.

Several freshmen will have a lot of pressure to succeed, but Bucklin-Webber expects their competitive attitudes to carry them to the top.

Sami Sounders, a consistent player with the ability to make a variety of shots, Sam Prager, an athletic and quick player, and Shauna Powers, who Bucklin-Webber said is focused and ready to compete.

Another new player expected to make an impact this season is sophomore Kaeley McCabe.

One reason that Bucklin-Webber is confident about her team’s chances this spring is their attitude.  She said they are very coachable and want to learn and improve.

The women's tennis team hopes to build on their 6-7 team record from the fall season. Photo by: Christian Shuts.
The women's tennis team hopes to build on their 6-7 team record from the fall season. Photo by: Christian Shuts.

Injuries also gave them a chance to get experience. This gave their coach a chance to see them in action in many different formats.

Bucklin-Webber juggled a lot of their doubles lineups and now has a good idea of who plays best together, but that does not mean anything is set in stone.

“No player has the mindset that they have to play with a certain partner which gives us great flexibility,” Bucklin-Webber said.

The lady Marauders started their fall season by winning their first four-team matches.
However, they struggled down the stretch against tough competition away from Millersville.

Their final six matches, which were all away, resulted in only one win.

But Bucklin-Webber is still hopeful that this experience will lead them to a successful season.

“We played a tough fall schedule, and I hope that pushing ourselves in that competitive environment will serve us well this spring,” Bucklin-Webber said.

She also added that she would like to pull out a surprise win or two.

The season kicks off at home against the University of District Columbia on Friday, March 27 at 3 p.m.