- Under the direction of second-year head coach Stuart Swink, the 2003 women’s tennis team will feature fresh faces and veterans. Although the final line-up was slightly chaotic until the last minute, coach Swink is optimistic that his team will rally together and go on the hunt for an Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference championship.
Last season, Swink’s first at Frostburg State, was primarily a building year. The Bobcats weathered a disappointing 2-10 overall finish, including a 2-4 record in AMCC play.
FSU started the season 0-8 before earning its first victory by downing La Roche, 8-1. The Bobcats then traveled to La Roche for their second meeting in a week and again turned in an 8-1 win, improving to 2-9, (2-4 AMCC).
Swink says this year is all about setting team goals and achieving them together in an effort to grow the program at FSU.
“It’s time to focus on our efforts and achievements as a team,” said Swink. “That comes first and any individual accolades that follow will be an added bonus to our program.”
Returning to the number one singles spot is senior and 2002 AMCC Player of the Year Kirsten Getz (Beall/Frostburg, Md.). In 2002 Getz compiled a 10-3 record, including an 8-0 record in AMCC play, and the No. 1 singles flight title. She was also unbeaten in AMCC play the previous year (10-0) and she was the champion at the No. 2 singles flight.
At No. 2 singles will be senior Christina Bleivik (Bartlett/Anchorage, Alaska). Bleivik, who has enjoyed solid careers in soccer and basketball at FSU, will lend her competitive flare to the tennis team. A state-ranked high school player in Alaska, Bleivik is a hard-hitting player with great athleticism.
“She’s a fierce competitor who will have an automatic impact this season,” said Swink.
At number three singles will be junior Jodie Criser (Keyser/Keyser, W.Va.). Criser, a transfer from Potomac State College is a solid player who will also pair with Bleivik at the No. 1 doubles spot.
Freshman Kierstin Elia (Patuxent/Lusby, Md.) will take the No. 4 singles spot. She is a very strong and athletic player who will be another strong addition to the 2003 roster.
Moving down to fifth singles is senior Aimee Mendoza (Frostburg, Md./Great Mills). Mendoza, a 2002 second-team All-AMCC selection, will battle at the fifth position after tallying a 5-6 record at the No. 4 position last year.
With the addition of Bleivik, Criser and Elia, Swink says playing at fifth singles this season will be great for Mendoza as she will undoubtedly have more wins.
Mendoza will pair with junior Susan Adkins (Archbishop Spaulding/Severn, Md.) at the number three doubles spot. Adkins contributed three AMCC singles wins at the number three position in 2002.
Playing number six singles and number two doubles with Elia is freshman Iris Gonzales (Potomac/Potomac, Md.). Gonzales has good, quick hands and will be a welcome addition to the 2003 squad.
Filling out the roster is sophomore Sandy Nagabhushan (Beall/Frostburg, Md.) who is working hard to help build the 2003 team and make contributions to its success whenever possible.
Swink says he’ll be disappointed if they do not end .500 in conference play as he is expecting good results from his returners and promise from the new additions.
“We have some talent on board as of right now, and the addition of Bleivik is a tremendous asset,” said Swink. “We have a good schedule and we are looking forward to the tournament at Shenandoah, September 21. This is a great bunch of hard working women and they are eager to take the court.”
Frostburg State will open the season at home against Waynesburg on Friday, August 29 at 4 pm. The Red and Black will then play seven consecutive road matches, the first coming against host Bethany (W. Va.) on September 2.
For further information on this release, contact:
Office of Sports Information
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD 21532-2303