LANCASTER, Pa. – With the return of four regulars to the singles lineup and a talented freshmen class expected to battle for top spots, the Franklin & Marshall women's tennis team looks poised to compete for a place in the Centennial Conference (CC) Tournament for the first time since 2007. This season's journey begins Saturday, when the Diplomats travel to Salisbury for a 2:00 p.m. start.
To watch the season preview video for the 2014 F&M women's tennis team, click here.
F&M finished last season with an 8-8 record that included a 5-5 CC mark, narrowly missing the tournament. However, the program is on the rise, with three-straight seasons of increased win totals. Last year's eight-win campaign marked the most victories since the 2007 tournament-qualifying squad.
The 2014 squad returns its No. 1 and No. 2 singles players as well as two members who saw extended time in the middle of the lineup. The No. 1 double's team also is welcomed back into the fold. Five freshmen will also be in the mix as part of a talented class that is expected to offer depth as well as compete for some high spots in the singles and doubles lineups.
Anya Sahaydachny – Sr.
Megan FitzMaurice – Jr.
Dana Sleeper – Jr.
Emily Gruenberg – So.
Sahaydachny headlines the returners after compiling a 3-9 record from the No. 1 singles position last season that includes wins in two of her final three contests. In doubles action, she teamed with FitzMaurice at the No. 1 position to collect an 8-7 record.
FitzMaurice spent last year primarily from the No. 2 spot in the singles lineup and also closed out her sophomore campaign with victories in two of her final three matchups on the year. Sleeper is also expected to make major contributions after seeing time at both the No. 3 and No. 4 positions in 2013, amassing a 4-11 record in singles play.
Gruenberg played primarily at No. 5 during a successful freshman year in which the native of Warren, N.J., earned a spot on the All-CC Second Team list for singles play with a team-leading 12-7 record. She also found success in doubles competition, collecting 12-6 mark when teamed up with senior Julia Fiala at No. 3.
The Road Ahead
The 2014 team looks to challenge more in the always-competitive CC and will face off in key matchups with schools who advanced to last season's tournament, including at Washington College (5-5 CC – 2013) on March 29, at home versus Haverford (7-3 CC – 2013) on April 5, and against Swarthmore (9-1 CC – 2013) at home on April 12.
The non-conference slate figures to provide its own set of challenges with key dates circled on the calendar against Salisbury on Saturday, at home against Christopher Newport on March 30, and on the road against TCNJ on April 6.
CC Preseason Poll
1 - Johns Hopkins - 100 (10)
2 - Swarthmore - 86 (1)
3 - Haverford - 80
4 - Franklin & Marshall - 66
5 - Dickinson - 64
6 - Washington College - 61
7 - Muhlenberg - 51
8 - Gettysburg - 37
9 - Ursinus - 30
10 - McDaniel - 17
11 - Bryn Mawr 12
Follow Along (Social Media)
All of your favorite Diplomat athletic teams are available on social media. Follow them on Twitter, like them on Facebook and subscribe to the Diplomats Youtube page for frequent highlight videos of games throughout the season.