Women's tennis a hit in Big Apple

by Caitlin Kelly | 10/12/05 5:00am

The newest members of the Dartmouth women's tennis team made a strong showing at the third annual College Women's Tennis Invitational at the USTA National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, N.Y,, this weekend. In singles, freshmen twins Danielle and Jen Murray reached C flight quarterfinals and D flight semifinals, respectively.

Before losing to Melissa Cornett of Arkansas, Danielle had beat Seva Iwinski of Texas A&M, ranked second in the flight, 6-4, 6-1. Meanwhile, Jen defeated Kristen Flach of Army and Kiki Burns of Texas A&M before losing to Amanda Rales of Virginia 6-2, 6-2.

Strong outings also came from Megan Zebroski '08, who went 1-1 in A flight singles, and from co-captain Ann Scott '06, who posted the same record in C flight. Danielle Murray and her doubles partner, Jamie Caplan '09, lost all three of their matches.

"Over the next couple of weeks, we're going to work on a little bit of everything, individually and then collectively: what being aggressive means, where to return the ball, things like that," said Bob Dallis, who is entering his fourth season as the women's head coach.

"I'm proud of our team's fitness level," said Danielle. "We have been training a lot and work really hard, so we are very athletic." After arriving home, the team got two days off, which, according to Murray, is "huge."

Twenty of the top-ranked NCAA Division I teams participated in the event sponsored by the International Tennis Association. Players competed in two doubles flights and four singles flights all together. These competitors included No. 4 Kentucky, No. 10 Clemson, No. 14 Baylor and the Ivy League schools.

"Since we normally compete against East Coast schools, it was a great learning experience," said Murray, "Play was at a really high level."

Coach Dallis called the team's performance "very encouraging and impressive."

Rainy weather conditions disrupted the tournament schedule, as the invitational was originally planned as an outdoor event. Players used indoor facilities in the New York City area, sometimes traveling more than two hours for usable sites. All doubles matches were moved to Saturday and all singles contests to Sunday in order to facilitate these changes.

The Dartmouth women will resume play starting on Oct. 21 at the ITA Regionals in West Point, N.Y. For fans stuck in Hanover, the Big Green Invitational will be held at Dartmouth on Oct. 29.

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