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2013 Tennis Season Preview

Senior Gabrielle Catanzariti

Senior Gabrielle Catanzariti

Jan. 8, 2013

PITTSBURGH, Pa. - The University of Pittsburgh women’s tennis team officially began their season today, bringing back a group of ten veteran players, including all six players on last year’s singles and doubles starting line-up.

In its opening match on January 26th, 2013, Pitt will compete against Buffalo in Buffalo, N.Y.  In the 2012 season opener, Pitt defeated St. Bonaventure 7-0, making their season opener record 9-1 in the last decade.

Their first home match will be February 2, 2013 against Georgetown, a Big East rival. The Panthers are looking to start the home season with a victory over a team to whom they lost a hard fought battle last season.

Pitt is coming off of one of the most successful fall tennis seasons in program history.  In the first fall tournament of the year, the Saint Joseph’s Invitational, junior Taylor Washington captured the fight three singles championship while fellow junior Kimmy Borza won the flight four singles bracket.  Washington also paired up with junior, Jocelyn Lu, to capture the flight three doubles bracket titles at both the Saint Joseph’s Invitational and the following tournament, the Navy Blue and Gold Invitational.  Sophomore Amanda Wickman earned  another title for the Panthers at the Navy Blue and Gold Invitational in the flight three singles bracket. 

To complete the victory filled fall season, sophomores Amanda and Molly Wickman tallied one of the biggest doubles victories of their career by defeating Penn State’s experienced duo of Henderson and Sandor 8-5 in the first round of the ITA Regional Championship. 

The fall season was preceded by a very competitive 2012 spring dual match schedule.  The Panthers were able to produce impressive wins over Big East foes Providence, Seton Hall, Villanova, Uconn, and West Virginia during this season.  Pitt also defeated city rival Duquesne, with whom they share a facility, 4-3 in one of the most exciting matches of the season. 

 No. 3 singles player junior Taylor Washington won 15 of her 19 dual matches in the previous season, ending the year victorious in 22 of her 36 matches. No. 1 and 2 singles players, junior Jocelyn Lu and senior Gabrielle Catanzariti, will also be returning this season with another year of success under their belts.  Catanzariti, the most experienced member of the team, had compiled 63 career wins, while Lu was close behind with 53 career victories after last season.  No. 6 singles player, Borza, returns after posting a 16-7 singles record which contributed to her 58 career total after spring matches.

In doubles, Pitt ended with 34 wins and 24 losses last season.  Lu and Washington were a strong pair with a record of 10-8 in first doubles, while Borza and Catanzariti collected 11 victories at second doubles.  At third doubles, Molly and Amanda achieved a team best record of 16-5.   Washington, along with teammate Amanda, were named “Co-Most Valuable Players” of the 2011-2012 season due to their success. 

With an older and even more experienced team, Pitt women’s tennis is poised for a strong 2013 season.