Posted: Feb 10, 2018
An 11-10 (5-4 SCAC) record, a come-from-behind win over Colorado College for a 3rd-place finish, and a program-first ITA regional ranking. 2016-17 was an historic season for the West #15 Austin College Women's Tennis Team. But with the team losing 5 seniors to graduation, combining for 113 singles and 91 career doubles victories, this year's squad is very young.
A #19-Nationally Ranked recruiting class and a talented sophomore transfer will help fill the void left by the departed, but the youth of this team will rely heavily on the veteran experience of four core returners from last season's successful campaign if any success is in store for Austin College.
Three-time SCAC Honorable Mention, three-time SCAC All-Tournament Team; Senior co-Captain Grace Ortiz has proven to be the lifeblood of the 'Roos her whole career and a person that the team can count on in big matches. With 50 combined singles and doubles victories in her three years, the lone Senior on the team will be a catalyst for the Sophomore and Freshman-dominated roster understanding from where the program has come, and where it has the potential to go.
Junior Brenna McCown will also be counted on to step-in for the absence of upperclassmen and lead the Kangaroos in demeanor, respect, and competitiveness. McCown made the most of her time in the lineup last year by compiling a 5-2 overall record in singles, and a 2-0 record in dual match doubles.
Back for their second year of Austin College Women's Tennis, Sophomore co-Captain Katie Seibert and Sophomore Anna Sergiovanni will be asked to assume a much larger role of responsibility and leadership. Sergiovanni amassed an astounding 17-6 record in singles last year and earned 1st-Team All-SCAC honors because of it. After qualifying for the Quarterfinals of the 2017 Fall ITA Regional Singles Championships, the ITA Rankings have her as the pre-season #17 player in the West.
Seibert won a match in qualifying to earn her spot in the main event this fall, but highlighted her tournament by teaming with First-Year Chandler Morris (Arlington, TX – Mansfield) for two doubles victories in A-Draw. Her leadership and 17 combined singles and doubles victories will certainly help the team in the six matches against nationally ranked teams the 'Roos have scheduled this spring.
The final sophomore on the roster comes to Sherman, TX by way of Seton Hill College in Pennsylvania. Diana Carvajalino (Hurst, TX – LD Bell) has proven she will be a valuable addition both to the team's chemistry and competitiveness. The current West #15 singles player enters the spring with a year of Division II college tennis experience and plenty of time to show why she is in consideration for future team, conference, and NCAA accolades in her career.
Becoming the first Kangaroo Women's Tennis Player since Arianne Goddard (2011) to advance to the A-Draw Round of 16, Melody Duong gave notice to the Southwest Region that the 2017 Austin College Recruiting Class was every bit of the ranking TennisRecruiting.net awarded them this offseason. Duong along with Morris, Georgia Moore (Dallas, TX - Trinity Christian Academy), and Summer Willig (Waxahachie, TX – Waxahachie ISD) have a plethora of competitive experience to bolster the already impressive roster.
Morris qualified for, and won a round in, 6A Singles Regionals and advanced to the consolation R16 in A-Singles this fall. Moore was a TAPPS 6A doubles semi-finalist in her senior year at Trinity Christian, and secured a win for Austin College in her first ever singles dual match this fall. And Willig played top position for her high school team, teaming with McCown at ITA's and falling just short of her first career doubles victory. This season will be a challenging experience for each of the five newcomers, but the fruits of their labor in practice and matches will be worth its weight in veteran leadership and match toughness in a short time.
With an abundance of youth and invaluable leadership, the 2017-2018 Austin College Women's Tennis Team has an opportunity ripe with potential to show the nation what tennis in North Texas can bring to the table. A Spring Break Trip to Portland, OR on the schedule will be the first for the program in it's long history, and with the road to an NCAA berth going through Colorado Springs at the end of the regular season, the 2017-18 campaign will not be easy, but looks to be successful.