SOUTHFIELD, Mich. – The Lawrence Technological University women's tennis team opens the 2016 season on Thursday, August 26 at Taylor University (Ind.) with a 2:00 p.m. start time.
Building off last season's 15-11 record, Coach Behmlander has high hopes for this year's team.
Returning for her senior year is Ana Hernandez Munt. As a junior, Hernandez Munt earned Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC) All-Academic Honors and finished the season 13-9 at No.4 singles.
Also returning are juniors Brittany Schmidt (JR/Richmond, Mich.) and Carolyn McCullen (JR/Westland, Mich.). Schmidt finished the 2015-16 with an 8-7 record at No. 6 singles and McCullen looks to build on her 10-9 record at No. 1 singles from last year.
"McCullen will begin the season at 1S. She will be pushed all year by incoming freshman, Sabrina Mateos (FR/Mexico City, Mexico)," explains LTU head coach Steve Behmlander. "Mateos is a very strong left-handed player. Our 1D will consist of McCullen and Mateos. They will be challenged all season by our 2D team of Ana Hernandez-Munt and Maria Alvarez (FR/Ames, La Coruna, Spain), another strong freshman."
Lawrence Tech adds three freshmen to the 2016-17 roster. Arriving from Ames, La Coruna, Spain is Maria Alvarez, from Mexico City, Mexico Sabrina Mateos, and local talent Sarah Burgess (FR/Ortonville, Mich.) from Ortonville, Michigan.
"Our expectations for our women's team for 2016-17 is to improve from last season," said Behmlander. "We lost three players from our team last year. So, we could look at this year as being a rebuilding year, but we replaced them with very strong, but young players. Our 1-5 singles look as strong, if not stronger than it has in our previous 2 seasons. We return two very capable veterans in Carolyn McCullen at 1S and Ana Hernandez-Munt at 4S. We improved 14 wins between our first year and last year, so improving on that record will be no small feat."
The Blue Devils play four fall matches starting with Taylor University (Ind.) (Aug. 26). They will also play Tiffin University (Ohio) (Sep. 7), Olivet College (Mich.) (Sep. 10), and Adrian College (Mich.) (Oct. 5).
"The women finished 4th last season in conference play," Behmlander said. "With our young, talented line up, I look to contend for a top three finish. Our conference is very competitive, so it will be an uphill battle all season long."
Coach Behmlander expects to keep the line-up healthy while adding a player or two mid-year. "Other expectations include watching our freshmen compete and seeing our upper classmen mentor our new players, both on the court and in the classroom."
The last meeting between Taylor University and LTU came on Thursday, September 10, 2016, the Blue Devils were defeated 3-6. Carolyn McCullen secured a win at No. 1 singles 5-7, 1-6 and at No 2. Doubles with Missy Coolsaet (JR/Grosse lle, Mich.), 8-2.
Returning for TU is sophomore Mikayla Schultz, who finished the season 16-5. Also returning for her sophomore season is Corinne Hoffman, who finished 12-9.
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