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GCC Women's Tennis Preview 2013
September 1, 2013Rowan College at Gloucester County
The 2013 Roadrunners will look to continue the programs Regional and National success. The Roadrunners are coming off a very successful season which included winning the Garden State Athletic Conference, the NJCAA Region 19 Tournament, and winning the programs first NJCAA Division III National Championship.
Head Coach Brian Rowan has a good group of returning student-athletes and also a fine group of incoming freshman to work with and has put together a competitive schedule for the team.
The Roadrunners bring back six players from the team that had the most success in program history. Terra McHenry was named the MVP of the National Tournament in 2012 and will likely find herself at or near the top of the lineup this season. Tori Yeich and Kelly Stanton were both All-Americans in singles and doubles last season. Michelle Duerstock reached the semifinals of the National Tournament at #2 singles last season. Jessica Barney teamed with Stanton for an undefeated season at #3 doubles last season and is the last returning starter. Laura Steffen was a reserve last season and will look to work her way into the lineup this year as well.
Recruiting is the key to consistent success at the intercollegiate level and the Roadrunners have brought in another very good class for 2013. Victoria Russell (Woodstown) and Kelly Davis (Kingsway) both are coming off successful high school singles seasons and could challenge for top spots in the lineup. Lauren Palmerchuck, Becky Pierpont, and Madison Underwood were three of the four top doubles players in the county last year and all will likely contribute this season.
Also competing for time in the GCC lineup this season will be Abby Toy, Noelle Brecht, and Marthalynn Johnson. Each has shown flashes of great tennis in the pre-season and if they add consistency they will contribute nicely and could challenge any of the top players in the lineup.
The Roadrunners will face some new challenges in the 2013 season. In addition to traditional Region XIX rivals Mercer CC, Ocean CC, Brookdale CC, and Bergen CC, three new programs have entered the Region for 2013. Newcomers Bucks CC, Northampton CC, and Philadelphia CC all are unknown at this point but have potential to have strong programs. In addition to the Region schedule the Roadrunners will face traditional National Championship Tournament qualifiers Suffolk CC and Hagerstown CC during the regular season.
New for 2013:
In August the Roadrunner Tennis courts were given a makeover and sport the US Open blue and green color scheme.
-On summer practices: "We put in 15 days of work so far and the team has shown the type of committment we are looking for. Despite some difficult weather at times, I think almost every player has shown some improvement already and feels comfortable that they are ready for the start of the season."
-On expectations: "Any time you return a decent amount of starters from a National Championship team the expectations are high. However, each season is a new one with different challenges so you have to take it one day and one match at a time to be successful."