2012 Season in Review: Women?s Tennis
STATESBORO, Ga. – The Georgia Southern Women’s Tennis team experienced a very eventful 2012 campaign. Among the many positives on the season was the Eagles’ return to the quarterfinals of the Southern Conference Championship for the second-consecutive year and sixth in the eight-year tenure of Head Coach Amy Bonner. The Eagles also posted two two-match winning streaks over Presbyterian College/Mercer and Western Carolina/Florida A&M as well as defeating conference rival Davidson twice.
The Eagles (6-15, 2-8 SoCon) were led on the court by sophomore Paola Garrido (Vigo, Spain). Garrido played in all 21 matches at the No. 1 singles position for the Eagles, notching a 13-7 record with a 6-4 mark in conference action. Her outstanding play earned her many accolades over the course of the season. Garrido was named the SoCon Women’s Tennis Player of the Week on February 14th and SoCon Student-Athlete of the Week on February 29th as well as being selected to the SoCon Singles First Team All-Conference, becoming the first Eagle named to the team since Bonner (then Amy Bartlett) in 2002. She recorded ten straight-set victories as well as three-set wins over Elon’s fellow First Team All-Conference member Jordan Johnston, Samford’s Kristin Lewis, and Charleston Southern’s Olga Makhova, a two-time Big South Conference Player of the Year. Garrido also posted an impressive 10-6 doubles record on the season while pairing with fellow sophomores Caitlin Kitchen (Kennesaw, Ga.) and Mimi Bollaci (Atlanta, Ga.).
Leadership for the Eagles was also demonstrated by upperclassmen Alessandra Dzuba (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.), Allison Beeler (Alpharetta, Ga.), Natalie Maffett (Rome, Ga.), Alexandra Langmo (Boca Raton, Fla.), Taylor Jones (Warner Robins, Ga.) and Sydney Brown (Johns Creek, Ga.). Dzuba, the lone Eagle senior, displayed much hard work and tenacity in returning from offseason shoulder surgery. The winner of the Georgia Southern Women’s Tennis Student-Athlete of the Year award, she won conference singles matches over UNC Greensboro and Davidson and doubles matches over Florida A&M and Campbell. Beeler recorded four two-match singles winning streaks and posted four conference wins while seeing action in all 21 matches, primarily from the No. 2 and No. 3 singles positions. Maffett, shelved nearly a month due to injury, notched four wins in both singles and doubles play while starting at the No. 1 doubles position in the majority of her matches. Langmo saw action at the No. 5 and No. 6 singles positions for the Eagles, recording victories without dropping a game over Mercer and Western Carolina in addition to a three-set win over Campbell. Jones had a hand in the victories over Presbyterian College and Mercer by posting wins at No. 3 doubles, while Brown saw singles action against Campbell.
Sophomores Kitchen and Bollaci and freshmen Alexis Prickett (Charleston, S.C.), Cameron Williams (Norcross, Ga.) and Scottie French (St. Augustine, Fla.) were also key contributors for the Eagles. Kitchen started in 17 singles matches at the No. 2 and No. 3 positions for the Eagles, notching wins against Presbyterian College, Mercer, and Davidson, while going 7-7 from the No. 1 and No. 2 doubles positions. Bollaci started in 11 doubles contests on the year, recording wins over Presbyterian College, Florida A&M, Appalachian State and Elon. The emergence of newcomer Prickett was a big storyline for the Eagles as she started at the No. 2 position and posted wins against Presbyterian College and Western Carolina before being sidelined over a month due to a back injury. She returned to the lineup to post a win over Davidson in the first round of the SoCon Championship. Williams posted six singles and five doubles victories on the year, while French won in singles over Florida A&M and doubles over Troy.
Despite the significant injuries to Prickett, Dzuba, and Maffett, the Eagle squad battled adversity to reach the SoCon quarterfinals. Senior leader Dzuba's absence will be felt, but several young members of the team gained valuable experience that will only help them as they move forward in their collegiate careers. The Eagles will look to reload in the offseason and prepare for the 2012-13 campaign.
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- Category: Women's Tennis
- Published on Thursday, 03 May 2012 10:53