STORRS, Conn. - The University of Connecticut women's tennis program will host a pair of home dual matches against regional rivals Bryant and Marist on Saturday afternoon to kick-off their 2015 spring schedule. The Huskies will play host to nine matches and face five conference opponents as they prepare for the American Athletic Conference Championships later this spring at the University of Tulsa.
"We are very much looking forward to getting the season started with our doubleheader against Bryant and Marist this week," stated head coach Glenn Marshall. "The team came back early from winter break for the first time and has been training hard for two weeks and it will be nice to compete against some outside competition."
The Huskies will take on AAC foes UCF and Temple on the road while playing host to Houston, East Carolina and Cincinnati this year. UConn will host five matches indoors this spring at the East Hartford Tennis Club starting Saturday against Bryant and Marist. The Huskies are also scheduled to face Houston, Fairfield and Michigan State in East Hartford while hosting LIU Brooklyn at the Lincer Tennis Academy in Windsor.
The team's annual spring break trip will take them out to southern California this March with match-ups against Point Loma Nazarene, Azusa Pacific and Amherst in San Diego on the slate. On their trip to Orlando to take on UCF, the Huskies will also face Bethune Cookman. UConn also has road matches on the schedule at Army where they will also face Stony Brook, and other regional opponents at Brown and at Villanova.
The Huskies will close out the regular season with three-straight at home on the University of Connecticut Tennis Courts on the Storrs campus facing Boston University and AAC foes East Carolna and Cincinnati in final preperations for the league tournament.
UConn finished their fall season with a 2-1 dual match record posting wins over Providence and Quinnipiac. The Huskies got strong fall performances up and down their line-up led by junior Srna Stosljevic (Novi Sad, Serbia) who posted a team-best 11-3 record in singles play. Stosljevic was 3-0 in dual matches playing in the #1 singles spot. Sophomore Emma Alderman (Hingham, Mass.) finished the fall season 10-5 in singles play, going 2-1 in dual matches in the #2 spot. Alderman was fantastic at the Army Invitational, playing her way to the championship match of the Flight "1" singles bracket. Both Alderman and Stosljevic opened their seasons dominating the top-flight at the Quinnipiac Invitational.
Sophomore Shea Flanagan (Overland Park, Kans.) went 9-3 in singles play and had a team-best seven wins in doubles for the Huskies. Flanagan and freshman Summer Walker (Conyers, Ga.) teamed for a 5-5 record in the fall, the best mark on the team, and advanced into the semifinals at the Army Invitational.
Walker and fellow rookie Zaina Zaki (West Chester, Pa.) are looking to build on their impressive collegiate debuts from the fall. In addition to her strong doubles play, Walker matched Alderman for second on the team with 10 singles wins this fall. She finished the fall season at 10-4 in singles play and along with Flanagan and Stosljevic all posted 7-3 marks over their last 10 matches. The trio of Alderman, Stosljevic and Walker all collected eight singles victories in tournament play this year.
Zaki finished her fall season with a 9-5 singles mark and was 2-1 playing in the #4 postion in dual matches. The rookie duo of Walker and Zaki had an impressive showing at the 2014 USTA Billie Jean King Women's College Invitational at the National Tennis Center, both advancing to the semifinals in their flights.
The Huskies will welcome a third newcomer to the mix this spring with addition of freshman Yelyzaveta Pletnyeva (Vinnitsa, Ukraine) for the spring season. Pletnyeva boasts an impressive international playing career that includes over 30 cup titles. She received Master of Sport honors in her home country after winning a pair of Ukrainian doubles championships in 2012 and 2013. She was ranked as high as #3 in Ukraine in 2012 and earned a spot on the national team, competing in the Junior Fed Cup in London were they finished fourth.
“We added a new player for the spring semester in Elyzaveta Pletnyeva from Ukraine,” stated the head coach. “She will be an immediate impact player for our team and will be a starter in both singles and doubles. With adding Lizzy to our team and a strong compliment of returning player from the fall, I am looking forward to a very successful spring campaign.”