Written by Lancaster Brown
BUENA VISTA, Va.—After going 2-2 through the fall season, the Southern Virginia University women's tennis team recorded a 3-11 mark on the year.
"It was a tough season and was definitely a learning experience for us," said fifth-year Head Coach Deidra Dryden. "Throughout the year there were key moments in which individuals took their game to the next level by becoming stronger mentally. As a team we struggled to find good doubles combinations, but found a groove late in the season."
During the fall, the Knights earned key wins over NCAA Division III opponents and future Capital Athletic Conference-foe Frostburg State (6-3) on Sep. 28 and Lynchburg (7-2) on Oct. 4.
Southern Virginia then began the spring with a 9-0 shutout at Mary Baldwin on Mar. 12 before dropping nine consecutive competitions.
"We earned some big wins in the fall over Frostburg State and Lynchburg," said Dryden.
"Ivy made the difficult step up to No. 1 this year, and I was pleased with the hard work she put in to meet that challenge," said Dryden.
Team captain I. Kuroki ended her career at Southern Virginia with a 4-6 singles record at the No. 1 position.
"Courtney [McNeil] was a steady and dedicated player during her time here and it's tough to see her go," said Dryden. "Mina [Romito] also added a lot to the team by picking up some singles victories for us."
McNeil and Romito earned 2-6 and 4-4 singles marks, including Romito winning four of five contests at the No. 6 seed.
"After a difficult finish to the season like this one I like to look forward," said Dryden. "We definitely saw flashes of promise from next year's returners Ann [Kuroki] and Kirsten [Laurence]."
Junior Ann Kuroki (Hershey, Neb.) and freshman Kirsten Laurence (Bountiful, Utah) both finished their 2012-13 campaigns with victories at the No. 2 and No. 3 singles positions respectively against Bluefield College while also registered 4-6 singles records on the year.
Women's tennis is expecting new tennis facilities to be completed before the fall season in preparation for its first full CAC conference schedule for 2013-14.
"We're anticipating the completion of our new courts to help improve our tennis programs at Southern Virginia [University]," said Dryden. "We are also looking forward to the tough challenge of competing in the CAC next year."