LANCASTER, Pa. - Franklin & Marshall's women's tennis team is aiming for its fourth straight Centennial Conference (CC) Postseason appearance in 2017. With the return of all but two members of last year's squad, including a trio of All-CC honorees, the goal of a deep run in the playoffs appears to be within reach.
F&M opens action this weekend with early tests against Salisbury and No. 15 Mary Washington on Saturday, before facing Methodist on Sunday, with all three matchups taking place in Fredericksburg, Va.
To watch the season preview video for the 2016 F&M women's tennis team, click here.
Last year, women's tennis enjoyed another impressive regular season CC campaign, advancing to the program's third consecutive conference tournament with a 7-3 record. The Diplomats fell just short of their third straight CC Semifinal appearance, dropping a narrow 5-3 decision against Dickinson in the First Round.
Four of the top six positions in the lineup return to the courts for F&M, while four of the six regulars from the Diplomats' three doubles teams are also being welcomed back into the fold. F&M will need to account for the loss of All-CC Second Team member Emily Gruenberg, who concluded her stellar career with the 14th most singles wins in program history (46) and the 10th most doubles victories (50).
No first-year players were added to the Diplomats' veteran roster, which includes a four-member senior class. Standout sophomore Allison Wolters is set to compete in the spring for the first time and is coming off a Round of 16 appearance at the ITA Southeast Regional Championships in September.
Allysan Breece – Sr.
Alex Collins – So.
Sarah Haas – Jr.
Gavriel Rubenstein – So.
C.J. Rummelsburg – Sr.
Nicole Russo – Sr.
Russo held the top spot in last year's singles order, accumulating a 7-3 conference mark to earn her third consecutive All-CC First Team Honor, becoming one of just 25 players in conference history to accomplish the feat. Rubenstein received All-CC Honorable Mention for singles with a team-leading 14-5, 8-2 CC record, ending her year with a nine-match winning streak. She teamed with Breece to land on the Honorable Mention doubles list as the duo formed the Diplomats most successful pair with a 14-6, 8-2 CC mark at No. 3.
The Road Ahead
Following F&M's opening weekend at the Mary Washington Invitational, the Diplomats head to Florida for four contests from March 12-15. CC competition begins against Ursinus on March 25, which will serve as F&M's home opener.
A brutal stretch of the CC's top programs closes out the season with the final three spring matches coming against defending champion Johns Hopkins (April 8), Swarthmore (April 22) and Washington (April 29). The Centennial Tournament opens with the First Round on May 3 and concludes the following weekend with the Semifinals (May 6) and Championship match (May 7).
A continued featured to the schedule is the "Add to Calendar" button, which allows fans to sync new events and updates directly in their Google, Exchange, Yahoo, Outlook, ICal and additional calendars.
Look for the icon below, which can be accessed at the top-right of the 2017 men's tennis schedule when viewed on your computer, or bottom-left of all schedules on your mobile device.
As a team, the Diplomats enter the season as the No. 20 ranked team in the Atlantic South Region, behind CC schools Johns Hopkins (No. 4), Washington College (No. 8) and Swarthmore (No. 16).
Wolters, is at No. 18 in singles, while the duo of Russo and Wolters place at No. 7 for doubles following their strong performances at last September's ITA's.
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