The women’s tennis team’s fall season differs from its spring season in that most of the tournaments and match play competitions are individual. The individual points do affect the team — winning tournaments and matches will contribute to individual rankings as well as the overall ranking of the team come spring. However, this season will also allow the Tigers to assess their four new freshmen, as well as continue to perfect the talent their team already has.
After a very successful weekend in Kansas City and Philadelphia, the Tigers are hoping for one of their best seasons yet. With freshman Caroline Joyce reaching the finals and classmate Sivan Krems making the semifinals at the Cissie Leary Invitational at Penn, Princeton has reason to be excited about its new players.
“There’s a lot of undiscovered talent with the new freshman,” sophomore Amanda Muliawan said. “They continue to surprise me everyday.”
In her first collegiate competition, Joyce lost the final to Maryland’s Olga Bredikhina in three sets after a three-set victory in the semifinal.
This year the Tigers hope to benefit from their strong recruiting, as they have the Tennis Recruiting Network’s seventh highest-ranked recruiting class in the nation. With four freshmen — Joyce, Krems, Dorothy Tang and Alanna Wolff — joining the team, the squad features an intimidating combination of new talent and great depth.
After only graduating one senior last year, five of the top six players on the women’s team are back again to compete this year. Top players such as senior Katherine Flanigan, junior Katie Goepel and sophomore Emily Hahn are all returning for the 2013 season. Additionally, the team has added former Illinois tennis player, Marisa Lambropoulos, as their new assistant coach. With a larger team this year — 10 players instead of seven — the coaching staff will have much more to work with in determining the lineup.
Sophomore Amanda Muliawan is also back in action after taking the spring season off last year due to a wrist injury. During the 2012 fall season, her rookie year, Muliawan made great progress, winning the USTA/ITA regional tournament last October to earn the number-one ranking in the Ivy League. She was ranked as high as 52 in the nation and went 9-2 in spring singles before a wrist injury left her unable to play her first Ivy League match. She is expected to make her highly anticipated return to the court at the ITA All-America event in Los Angeles on Friday.
Junior Lindsay Graff, who was first team all-Ivy last year, will also make an appearance at the ITA All-America main draw. Graff and Muliawan hope to represent the Tigers well in both the singles and doubles draws.
“I’m so excited to get underway this year. We know we’re capable of winning the Ivy title and beating some of the top teams,” Graff said. “We’ve got the individual talent among all the players. I think what it comes down to is consistency in our performance in the tough matches and big points. It’s just something that will come from confidence and practice as we grow as a team this year.”