Women's Tennis

    1998 Spring Season Preview

    Go Hoosiers!
    Go Hoosiers!

    Go Hoosiers!
    ="preview"> January 22, 1998

    1998 Spring Season Preview

    After again proving they were one of the Big Ten's top teams last year, the Hoosiers have their sights set on returning to the top spot in the conference as they enter the 1997-98 season. Eight players return from the squad that won 19 matches last season while finishing second in the Big Ten Championships. Led by three seniors--Megan McCarney, Christy Sharp, and Correne Stout--the Hoosiers hope to add yet another Big Ten Championship to their already stocked trophy case in 1998.

    McCarney and Sharp, members of the 1995 championship team that went 13-0 in conference play while finishing the season ranked 14th in the nation, look to lead the Hoosiers back to the top of the pack this season. "Megan, Christy, and Correne all have a tremendous amount of college tennis experience," said Loring. "We need strong leadership from them on and off the court. If they play well, our team will be successful this year."

    Consistency throughout the line-up will work to Indiana's advantage this season. With six upperclassmen and four underclassmen, the blend of youth and experience will definitely benefit the Hoosiers as the season progresses.

    Besides the three seniors, several other returning players will have key roles in the success of the Hoosiers in 1998.

    Sophomore Jessica Anderson, who compiled a 27-12 singles record last year, will be a key factor, as will fellow sophomore Zahra Ahamed, who went 21-9 in singles action. Freshman Ana Ceretto will also see extensive singles action, with Candice Donahoe and Becky Wallihan rounding out the top eight.

    Junior Kelly Fitzgerald should see playing time in doubles action, teaming up with Wallihan at the number four position. Freshman Jennifer Hsia will see action in out of conference singles matches and will be a valuable sub during conference play.

    Indiana's schedule is again a tough one, highlighted by a rigorous conference schedule. The Big Ten is stocked, with Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota all battling the Hoosiers for the conference's top spot. "There are five teams capable of winning the Big Ten this year. Like last year, the team at the end of the season with the most healthy team will be favored. Michigan started the same six singles players in every match last year and it showed at the Big Ten Tournament. The team that can put the same six players on the court for three straight days will win the title this year," said Loring.

    Wisconsin will play host to the 1998 Big Ten Championships, while Notre Dame plays host to the 1998 NCAA Division I Championships.

    Indiana is healthy and ready to once again sit atop the Big Ten conference. If the team can avoid injuries they should be primed as they make their run towards the top. "The first and most important ingredient to a successful season is getting healthy and staying healthy," said Loring. "We had an amazing year last year when you consider that half our starting line-up was out or played injured. All twelve team members started at least one match. The Big Ten and the top 30 nationally ranked teams are all very close in ability. One player out of the lineup can make the difference between winning and losing."

    With strong leadership from the three seniors Loring and his crew could easily find themselves back among the nation's elite by the time the Big Ten Championships roll around in late April.



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