UAlbany Tennis Opens Up Conference Play On Saturday; Host Two Matches

Photo: UAlbany Women's Tennis Is Coming Off a 5-2 Win over Rhode Island. 

Schedule | Stats | @UAlbanySports

ALBANY, N.Y. -- The University at Albany women's tennis team will host a doubleheader on Saturday, March 9. First, the Great Danes take on crosstown rival Siena at SPORTIME in Schenectady, N.Y. Following, UAlbany (3-5) open’s up America East Conference play against Hartford at Tri-City Fitness in Latham, N.Y. Match times are set for 9 a.m. and 7 p.m., respectively.

LAST WEEKEND'S MATCHES
UAlbany improved to 3-5 after defeating the University of Rhode Island, 5-2, at SPORTIME on Sunday, March 3. UAlbany played two matches last weekend, dropping their first on Saturday, 6-1, to an undefeated Cornell squad. Junior Rocio Lopez paced the Great Danes with two singles wins.

SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS 
Siena: The Saints are 2-2 in dual matches for the 2012-13 dual season. They defeated Rider University, 7-0, on Sept. 29, 2012. That match was their only MAAC competition thus far. In singles play, Siena is led by Carly Holloway. She is 2-0 in dual competition. The doubles duo of Elora Benfer and Brittany Fillip are 6-2 and 2-1 in dual matches.

Hartford: The Hawks have yet to win a dual match this season, currently sitting at 0-4. Saturday’s showdown against UAlbany will be both teams’ first conference match.  In singles, both Hannah Goldman and Katina Zampas have recorded a win for Hartford. Doubles teammates Colleen Beck and Christie Greenberg have also won a match.

LOPEZ NAMED AMERICA EAST PLAYER OF THE WEEK 
Rocio Lopez was named America East Player of the Week on Tuesday, March 5. The junior won three matches last weekend and currently is off to a team-best 7-1 start in singles competition. The Madrid, Spain native earned a 6-4, 3-6, (10-4) win against undefeated Cornell at the No. 1 singles position. Her victory was the only one for the Great Danes. Against Rhode Island, Lopez was again victorious from the No. 1 singles position. The Georgia Tech transfer also won with teammate Kirsten Scott, 8-2, in doubles play against the Rams.

SCOTT REGAINS TOP DOUBLES SPOT
Sophomore Kirsten Scott took home two victories last Sunday over Rhode Island. She regained the No.1 doubles spot with teammate Rocio Lopez after returning from injury last week. The duo defeated Galina Chernykh and Kathleen Uy, 8-2. On Saturday, the Great Dane pair won a team-high five games against Cornell. Scott is 3-1 at the No. 1 doubles spot this season. She also defeated the Rams in singles play, 6-2, 7-5.

HERMANS INKS FIRST COLLEGIATE SINGLES WIN
Freshman Mireille Hermans won her first collegiate tennis match in singles competition against Rhode Island. A native of Twello, Netherlands, Hermans clinched Sunday's match with a three-set victory over Karolina Wojciak, 6-0, 4-6, 6-2. She has rotated between the No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 singles spots this season.

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 3-2 dual 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.

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.