UAlbany Women's Tennis Conclude Road Stand, Host Rhode Island Sunday
Photo: UAlbany returns home on Sunday to host Rhode Island after a four-game road stand.
ALBANY, N.Y. -- The University at Albany women's tennis team will continue their non-conference schedule with two matches this weekend. First, UAlbany (2-4) travels to Cornell on Saturday, March 2 to conclude a four-game road stand. On Sunday, March 3, they return to host Rhode Island, setting up four straight home matches over the next two weeks. Scheduled times are 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., respectively. Sunday’s match will be played at SPORTIME in Schnectady, N.Y
LAST WEEKEND'S MATCHES
UAlbany traveled to New Hampshire to play two non-conference away matches last weekend. On Saturday, they competed against Dartmouth University, dropping the match, 7-0. Sunday's match against Fordham proved to be much more competitive, the Great Danes fell just short, 4-3.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS
Cornell: The Big Red have started the season 3-0 and are back in action after a 7-0 sweep of Army last weekend. They are led by senior Sarah O’Neil and junior Ryann Young, both perfect in singles (3-0). Young and senior Christine Ordway are also 3-0 for the No. 2 position in doubles. O’Neil and freshman Lauren Frazier are also undefeated at the No. 1 doubles spot.
Rhode Island: The Rams dropped their first dual match of 2013 at NJIT, Feb. 16, 7-0. They loss put them to 2-3 on the 2012-13 season. Last October, Rhode Island completed two shutout victories, 7-0, over Connecticut College and Monmouth. They are led by a pair of underclassmen, freshman Galina Chernykh at No. 1 singles and sophomore Kathleen Uy at No. 2 singles.
LOPEZ PUTTING TOGETHER STRONG SOPHOMORE CAMPAIGN
Junior Rocio Lopez finds herself at the top in both singles and doubles for the Great Danes. Last weekend the Georgia Tech transfer improved to 5-1 in singles play. She defeated Fordham’s Sarah Ali in a three set thriller, 7-6, 3-6, 6-6 (10-8). She's also recorded three victories at the No. 1 double’s position. Lopez is coming off a team-best 12-4 singles record in 2012. She was named to the America East Conference First-Team.
KUKKONEN RETURNS FROM PRESEASON INJURY; SCOTT RETURNS WITH WIN
Sophomore Cheryl Kukkonen made her debut at the No. 3 doubles spot last weekend after suffering an injury to her wrist off the court before the 2013 dual season. Last season Kukkonen rotated between the No. 3 and No. 4 singles spots, posting an 8-13 record. She is expected to climb up the singles rankings for the Great Danes as she fully recovers. Kirsten Scott also returned last weekend after missing two straight matches. She improved to 2-2 on the season with a convincing win at the No. 4 position over Fordham's Bella Genkina, 6-1, 6-2.
WORLD-RANKED SPANIARD TAKES TALENT TO UALBANY
Head coach Gordon Graham announced the signing of Irene Bravo for the team's 2013 spring season. 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 has slotted into the top three singles spots, compiling a 2-1 record.
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 (rescheduled for University bubble), March 3 and March 9; Varsity Court: April 5 and April 7. View the entire spring schedule.
NEW YEAR; SAME FACES
UAlbany returns five of seven players from last season. They are led by junior Rocio Lopez 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.
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.