PHILADEPLHIA The Penn women’s tennis team begins its spring season on a weekend road trip to Virginia. The Quakers will be in Norfolk to play Old Dominion on Saturday at 1 p.m.
The Quakers had a very successful fall that was highlighted by the duo of Ekaterina Kosminskaya and Alexa Ely capturing the Cissie Leary Invitational doubles trophy. The Red and Blue will look to carry their thriving fall season into spring, Penn will play seven matches within the Ivy League in addition to a strong non-conference schedule, including No. 15 Fresno State during its spring break trip to California.
“I am very excited for the first match of the season,” said interim head coach Sara Schiffman. “It will give us an idea of where we stand and what we need to work on.Our upperclassmen bring a lot of experience to the team and I am excited to see how the freshmen perform in their first dual match.”
In the most recent Intercollegiate Tennis Associate (ITA) rankings Penn was ranked No. 67, while the Monachs received a No. 59 ranking. This close pairing should translate into a close match on Saturday.
“Our goal for this match is to focus well, compete hard and have fun,” said Schiffman.
While this match will open the spring season for Penn, Old Dominion is already four matches into its spring season. The Monarchs have a 2-2 record which includes their most recent upset over No. 34 North Carolina, 5-2.
Senior Lauren Sadaka and junior Kosminskaya will serve as the captains for the 2009 season. Sadaka will provide experience and guidance as the lone senior this year. She was an integral part of Penn’s success in past seasons. Kosminskaya will play at No. 1 singles and pair up with Ely as the top doubles team.
“Our captains, Lauren [Sadaka] and Kate [Kosminskaya], have done a great job of motivating the team; everyone on the team is excited to start the season.”
Other returning players include Maria Anisimova, Jacqueline Wong and Vidya Dabir. Adding to the team will be newcomers Daniela DePaoli, Jordyn Shaffer and Emily Wolf, who should all see a considerable amount of time throughout the spring.
The Penn program has recently seen success within the Ivy League and the Quakers are looking to build on the past few years to capture their second conference title in three years.