July 25, 2011

2010-11 UMW Women's Tennis in Review

The University of Mary Washington women’s tennis team continued its dominance of the Capital Athletic Conference in 2010-11, capturing its eighth straight CAC title en route to its 13th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance. The Eagles rank as the team with the third-most NCAA Tournament appearances in Division III history with 26.

With two seniors on the roster, the Eagles relied heavily on underclassmen in the starting lineup, and that experience will look to push UMW, who stood on the verge of several huge victories over nationally-ranked opponents, to greater heights in the future. In all, Mary Washington finished 17-9 on the season.

After a successful fall season, in which the Eagles played favorably against top talent at the UMW Kickoff Classic, the ITA Regional Tournament, and the Division I St. Joseph’s Invitational, UMW started the spring with four matches in the UMW Indoor Tennis Center. After falling in the opener to Division I George Mason, the Eagles reeled off three straight wins before embarking on the annual Spring Break trip – this year to California.

The Eagles easily topped Occidental College before falling to nationally-ranked Chapman and Pomona-Pitzer on the west coast, then returned home to give fourth-ranked Washington & Lee University all they wanted in a 5-4 setback, which was UMW’s best result against the Generals in several years.

The confidence gained from that match carried the Eagles to a five-match win streak, including impressive wins over Bates College and Swarthmore, as well as three 9-0 conference wins. The Eagles then competed in the Fab Eight tournament in Atlanta, which has evolved into one of the top in-season tournaments in the nation. After falling, 6-3, to Carnegie Mellon, the Eagles fell 5-0 to second-ranked Middlebury College, and 5-2 to \#12 Gustavus Adolphus College.

UMW then reeled off another five straight victories, including wins over Salisbury, and Washington College, before falling at Johns Hopkins in the regular season finale. The Eagles easily breezed through St. Mary’s College and Salisbury for the CAC Championship, thus gaining the automatic bid to the national championship tournament.

The Eagles started their NCAA Tournament with a 6-0 win over Moravian College, and then, trailing 4-0 against Carnegie Mellon on the road, won four straight matches to tie the score before falling, 5-4, on a three-setter at one singles.

UMW saw senior Courtney Goimarac named the CAC Player of the Year for the second straight season, and she also was a co-winner of the UMW Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year award. Freshman Lindsay Raulston took CAC Rookie of the Year honors, and head coach Patrick Catullo won the CAC Coach of the Year award for the sixth straight season.

In all, the Eagles had eight players named to the all-conference teams, with Meg Lawlor, Michelle Meadows, Cassie Bowman, Casey Malcolm, Lauren Gaspar, and Jocelyn Lewis joining Goimarac and Raulston on the all-league squads.