UAlbany Women’s Tennis to Open Spring Season on Friday At Tri-City Fitness

Photo: The UAlbany tennis team (above) starts their spring season Friday

Schedule | Stats  

Albany, N.Y. -- The University at Albany women's tennis team will be back in action on Friday, Feb. 1 as they take on Marist at Tri-City Fitness in Latham, N.Y. Match time is set for 2 p.m. The home opener will be the first of 21 dual matches for the Great Danes this spring. These include 10 home matches and 11 on the road.

World-Ranked Spaniard is No. 1 Dane
Head coach Gordon Graham announced the signing of Irene Santos-Bravo for the team's upcoming spring season. Santos-Bravo, a globally-recognized singles player, has ranked as high as No. 18 in Spain and No. 443 in the world by the Women's Tennis Association (WTA). Santos-Bravo will slot into the No. 1 singles role for the Great Danes. She debuted for UAlbany at the National Collegiate Tennis Classic on Jan. 18.

No Place(s) Like Home
UAlbany will split time at three different locations for home matches this season. These include Tri-City Fitness, 944 New Loudon Road, Latham, N.Y.; SPORTIME, 2699 Curry Road, Schenectady, N.Y. and Varsity Court on the University campus. Matches will be at the specified location on the following dates. Tri-City Fitness: Feb. 1, Feb. 10 and March 13; SPORTIME: Feb. 9, March 3 and March 9; Varsity Court: April 5, April 7 and April 20. View the entire spring schedule.

Strong Coaching Track Record
Graham is in his second year as UAlbany women's tennis head coach. The Great Danes finished his first season with an 11-14 record. As head coach at Harvard University for 17 seasons, Graham guided the women's tennis program to nine Ivy League championships and the NCAA Tournament's Round of 16 in 2003 and 2005. Prior to Harvard, Graham was the tennis program coordinator and head coach at the University of the Pacific from 1978-90. In his 12 seasons, the Tigers won 180 dual matches and one Pacific Coast Athletic Conference Championship.

New Year; Same Faces
UAlbany returns five of seven players from last season. They are led by junior Rocio Lopez Alberca who will play No. 2 singles for the Great Danes this season. They also return sophomores Cheryl Kukkonen, Kirsten Scott, Francine White and senior Sarah Iannone. Lopez was selected as the 2011-12 Team MVP and also honored to the America East All-Conference First Team. She claimed UAlbany's best record in both singles and doubles, 12-5 and 15-4, respectively.

2013 Redemption
UAlbany will look to improve on their 2012 finish. The Great Danes fell in the first round of the 2012 America East Tournament to Stony Brook, 4-0. They defeated Hartford, 4-0, in the consolation bracket. The team prepped in the fall season at three collegiate tournaments including the Brown Indoor Invitational, Middlebury Invitational and Cornell Invitational.