Jan. 21, 2011
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University of Kentucky women’s tennis team begins its spring season Saturday with a dual match against Minnesota at noon in Huntington, W. Va. The Cats will then play host Marshall on Sunday, also at noon.
The Cats begin the 2011 season with seven new faces on the team, including freshmen Khristina Blajkevitch, Caitlin McGraw, Meredith Morrow, Misha Testerman, Marni Venter, Cece Witten and sophomore Jessica Stiles.
Returning for Kentucky are seniors Megan Broderick, Lauren Meier and Nicole Scates, and sophomore Elle Coldiron.
“Tomorrow we will start our season playing a strong Minnesota team,” UK head coach Carlos Drada said. “I am fully confident that our players will give their best effort Saturday and will show a lot of confidence through their choices on the court.”
Drada is entering his sixth season as head coach of the Wildcats, compiling a record of 69-59.
Kentucky is 8-2 all-time against Minnesota and 11-1 against Marshall. While Minnesota has not begun its season yet, the Thundering Herd is already 2-0 after dispatching Morehead State 7-0 and Eastern Michigan 6-1 on Jan. 14. Marshall enters the season with a preseason ranking of No. 53, and senior Michaela Kissell is No. 27 in the ITA singles rankings.
In addition to home matches against Southeastern Conference foes Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Auburn, Florida, South Carolina and Vanderbilt, Kentucky will host four other schools at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Center this year. Kentucky’s home nonconference schedule features matches against Ohio State, Miami (Ohio), Eastern Kentucky and Indiana.
The Cats’ nonconference schedule features a midseason road trip to the state of Texas where they will face off against Baylor, TCU and Texas Tech in a four-day span in mid-March. Also featured on the Cats’ nonconference road schedule are matches against Michigan, Northwestern and Purdue, each of the Big Ten Conference.
Broderick enters the season for Kentucky as its most experienced player. The Tampa, Fla., native has notched 54 singles victories in her three years with the Cats, many of which came at the No. 1 position.
Stiles comes to Kentucky after having spent one year in Durham, N.C., with the Duke Blue Devils. Stiles played well in the fall for Kentucky, winning five of her nine singles matches, and will look to build upon that mark in the spring.
“We have been training with a lot of dedication and this continued team effort will help us maximize our potential this season,” Drada said. “I am very proud of our team and look forward to a great match.”
Kentucky will play its first three dual matches on the road before hosting Ohio State in its first home match on Feb. 9 at 1 p.m. ET.
Stay tuned to UKathletics.com for results from Saturday’s match against Minnesota as well as all Kentucky women’s tennis news.