Women's Tennis Opens Spring Play Friday
Jan. 23, 2004
FORT WORTH, Texas - As head coach Dave Borelli enters his second season at the helm of the Horned Frogs' women's tennis program, his expectations for success are higher than ever. After an initial 11-10 campaign and No. 56 ranking, Borelli views the 2003-04 season as an opportunity for his squad to gain a good deal of experience, highlighted by a vastly harder schedule.
"Last year, we went 11-10 and were 56th. We lost six 3-4 matches to ranked teams. If we reverse that, all of a sudden we're 17-4. This year, if we go 11-10, we're going to have a pretty good year," says Borelli. "We do better than that, and we're going to be really tough!"
The team returns seven squadmembers, including seniors Paty Aburto and Saber Pierce, both of whom earned All-Conference USA honors in 2003. Other returners include: senior Rebecca Reynolds, juniors Karla Mancinas and Molly Purdy, sophomore Gloriann Lopez and redshirt freshman Lizzy Kenfield. Reynolds and Purdy will miss the spring season as they will be studying in Spain.
Junior transfer Paige Brown arrives at TCU after competing for the University of Kansas for two seasons. In 2003, she was named to the Verizon Academic All-District VII At-Large Team and the Big 12's Women's Tennis Academic Team.
A trio of new freshmen in Ana Cetnik, Jenn Chay and Gabby Lopez round out the 2003-04 Horned Frog team. Cetnik joined the Frogs in January, coming from Belgrade, Serbia where she is a strong doubles player. Chay is considered a recruiting coup for the Frogs as she was also heavily sought after by the University of Washington. She posted the best win-loss record for the Frogs in the fall 2003 season with an 8-4 singles mark. Lopez is the younger sister of sophomore Frog Gloriann Lopez.
The playing order remains undetermined as any of the nine available players could compete for the top six singles spots. With the addition of Cetnik at the semester, the doubles combos are up for grabs, too.
"With Rosa (Perez) gone, we're not going to be as good at one doubles," Borelli says. "But we're going to be better one-two-three overall."
With five opponents ranked in the ITA/Omni Hotels' final 2003 top 20 and 14 teams ranked in the full list of 75, the Frogs will have their work cut out for them.
The spring team season opens on the road with three of the top-20 teams. TCU starts against Borelli's former employer, Southern California, where he won his seven national championships. The Frogs then take on former WAC rival Fresno State, and end the California road trip at 2003 NCAA runner-up Stanford.
"Seven of our first eight matches will be against teams which are probably top 15 in the country," according to Borelli. "Even if we go out and go 1-7 in the first eight matches, we'll get a few (individual) wins and be gaining something."
Aburto was No. 70 in the Sept. 3 Preseason Fall ITA rankings and tied for 19th in the Dec. 4 Southwest Region poll after a 4-3 singles mark.
Chay, with her 8-4 solo record, was tallied at 13th in the Southwest Region. Pierce ended the fall ranked 24th regionally, buoyed by her win over Kendra Strohm of Texas in the Omni Hotels Southwest Regional Championship in October.
Two doubles teams were able to crack the regional rankings as well. Aburto and Mancinas were No. 10, while Pierce and Brown came in at No. 15.
For Borelli and the TCU women's tennis team, a tough schedule will hopefully lead them to their goals - team and individual NCAA berths.
"If you want the team to make the NCAA's, you have to play a tough schedule," according to Borelli.
That's just what's on the plate for the Horned Frogs in the spring of 2004.