Broncos Open Season at Milwaukee Tennis Classic
Milwaukee Tennis Classic
September 14-16, 2012
KALAMAZOO, Mich. - The Western Michigan women's tennis team will officially begin its 2012-13 season this weekend when they participate in the 37th Annual Milwaukee Tennis Classic, hosted by Marquette. The Broncos will compete against players from Marquette, Detroit, and Xavier over the course of the weekend, with a points system determining the singles and doubles champions at the conclusion of matches on Sunday.
According to WMU head coach Betsy Kuhle, the Broncos enter this first tournament of the season focused on developing both their games and the bond between teammates.
"I think we have a very mature group, so early in the year our focus is on growing together as a team as much as anything," said Kuhle. "We're just going to go and play some tennis and get to know each other better. The wins and losses will take care of themselves."
The Broncos return a group of experienced players, and will be a veteran squad in 2012-13 despite the graduation of three seniors from last year's squad. Jill Pastunink and Maggie Remynse stand out as the two seniors on this year's team, and their extensive experience in both the conference and the region will provide a steady presence in the line-up. Meanwhile, the Broncos return their overall wins leader and team MVP from 2012 in junior Kathleen Hawkins, who will look to take a leap forward in her second season with the Broncos.
Rounding out the returning players for the Broncos are Nini Sujashvili, who has led the Broncos in No. 1 singles wins for the past two seasons, and Caroline Aleck, who finished second on the team last year in overall wins and went 15-5 in dual match singles play in 2012. The Broncos welcome two freshmen to the team this year in Kelsey King and Anna Goetz.
There are several unique quirks to the Milwaukee Tennis Classic, with the most noticeable being the playing surface; all matches at the tournament will be played on clay courts, as opposed to the hard courts the teams will play on for the rest of the season. According to Kuhle, the change provides a number of challenges.
"We've spent the last week practicing on clay courts to get ready for the tournament, but the fact of the matter is that most of our players don't have much experience on clay," said Kuhle. "Clay slows the ball down, it forces players to slide and think more about their footing, and points tend to take much longer. It really changes the strategy and decisions of the player."
The Broncos will commence play at 9 a.m. on Friday when they face off against Detroit in doubles play, and will proceed to singles competition against Xavier later in the morning. Results for the tournament will be posted at the Milwaukee Tennis Classic tournament page as they become available.
Schedule of Play
Friday, Sept. 14
Women's Doubles:: Detroit vs. Western Michigan
Women's Singles: Western Michigan vs. Xavier
Women's Doubles: Marquette vs. Xavier
Women's Singles: Marquette vs. Detroit
Saturday, Sept. 15
Women's Doubles: Marquette vs. Western Michigan
Women's Singles: Marquette vs. Xavier
Women's Doubles: Detroit vs. Xavier
Women's Singles: Detroit vs. Western Michigan
Sunday, Sept. 16
Women's Doubles: Western Michigan vs. Xavier
Women's Doubles: Marquette vs. Detroit
Women's Singles: Detroit vs. Xavier
Women's Singles: Marquette vs. Western Michigan