Written by Sean Dahlin and Matthew McKinney
BUENA VISTA, Va.—The Southern Virginia University women's tennis team ended with a 2-2 fall record, including a road victory over soon-to-be Capital Athletic Conference-foe Frostburg State University.
"I'm pleased with the way in which everybody adapted to their roles on the team during this fall season," said fifth-year Head Coach Deidra Dryden. "After losing our top three players from last year, this year's squad pulled together and gelled as a team."
To begin the year, Southern Virginia dropped its season opener at Ferrum College 8-1 on Sept. 19, 2012. After dropping five singles matches, senior Courtney McNeil (Medina, N.Y.) gave Southern Virginia its lone point of the day defeating the Panthers' Kyra Schultz in three sets—1-6, 7-5, 1-0 (10-6)—in the No. 6 game.
Following Ferrum, The Knights found themselves on top winning two straight at Frostburg State (6-3) on Sep. 28 and at Lynchburg College (7-2) on Oct. 4.
With the addition of two forfeited wins at the No. 2 and No. 6 spots, junior Rebekah Ericson (Morgan, Utah) and freshman Kirsten Laurence (Bountiful, Utah)—who recorded a 2-1 singles record in the fall—won in straight sets over the Bobcats as No. 3 and No. 4 seeds in singles play. Ericson and Laurence also teamed up to improve to 3-0 collectively on the day after taking the doubles match 8-4.
Southern Virginia rode its momentum into the next match-up against the Hornets winning five of the six singles matches highlighted by 9-7 and 9-8 victories from No. 1-seed senior captain Ivy Kuroki (Hershey, Neb.) and No. 2-seed freshman Camille Cameron (Pocatello, Idaho). The Knights also took two of the three doubles games to end the day.
Southern Virginia's winning streak came to an end, however, dropping its final fall contest 6-2 to ODAC-affiliate Randolph College coming up short in five of the six singles matches and two of the three doubles contests. Freshman Kristen Gibbons (Buena Vista, Va.)—who finished with a 2-1 fall record—defeated the Wildcats' Danielle Lewis in straight sets (6-4, 7-5) while I. Kuroki and Cameron scored the Knights' second point of the match winning the No. 1 doubles competition 8-4.
"We'll look for Ivy [Kuroki] to provide leadership during the spring season as a senior and our number-one seed," said Dryden. "This fall season has given everybody good experience for the challenges we'll face the rest of the year."
I. Kuroki, who had a 15-1 singles mark in 2011, teamed up with Cameron for a 2-1 doubles record to lead Southern Virginia this fall along with 1-2 and 1-1 singles records respectively.
Women's tennis will begin the 2013 spring season on Feb. 22 at 3 p.m. in a rematch at Randolph College.