By Madeleine Wright
Anxiety ran high as the women’s tennis team opened their spring season away from home at the UCF Invitational in Orlando, FL.
While in Florida, the Lady Paladins were scheduled to compete against Central Florida, Florida State, and Iowa. The tournament was a multiple day event with one doubles match and one singles match per day.
Lead by head coach Debbie Southern, the Furman girls picked up two doubles wins on opening day.
Sophomore Alex Moreno-Kaste and senior Lauren Kline started off the winning streak as they defeated UCF’s Geneviene Lorsbergs and Josephine Haraldson, 8-7.
Senior Michele Stanford and junior Amanda Murray continued the Lady Paladin’s winning streak that Moreno-Kaste and Kline started by crushing a second UCF pair consisting of Jenna Doerfler and Sofia Baptista, 8-4.
Unfortunately, the Lady ‘Dins could not establish a win in the singles matches for that day, but two more days of the UCF Invitational followed.
Stanford and Murray put another doubles win under their belt after defeating FSU’s Francesca Segarelli and Kristina Schleich, 8-7.
In singles this time, Kelly Sullivan was able to gather a win over Iowa’s Ellen Silver, 6-2 and 6-4. The next day, Iowa seemed to have all the luck of the net as they beat Furman in all three doubles matches, 8-5, 8-3, and 8-1.
Individually, Lady ‘Dins Alex Moreno-Kaste and Kelly Sullivan defeated UCF’s Jenna Doerfler and Caroline Eberhart respectively.
With the UCF Invitational behind them, the Lady Paladins continue to keep the momentum rolling as they open the first match of the 2013 season against Coastal Carolina on Jan. 31 at 3 p.m. in the Mickel Tennis Center.
For the Paladins this spring, eight players have returned from the previous season that scored an overall 14-10 record and 8-2 mark in Southern Conference play.
Among the eight returning players, Furman also welcomes back senior Lauren Kline, who currently ranks sixty-eighth nationally among all women’s tennis singles players (ITA).
The Furman Paladins are scheduled to play against Illinois, UCF, Troy, USC, and UNC among others this spring.
The ‘Dins will also compete against West Coast teams UC Santa Barbara and Cal Poly in March.