Bucs begin season at nationally-ranked South Carolina

Friday, January 17, 2014

COLUMBIA, S.C. (Jan. 17, 2014) – Having won two Atlantic Sun titles in the last five years, the ETSU women’s tennis team will look to continue the program’s winning tradition as it begin its 2014 campaign Saturday, Jan. 18 at No. 33 South Carolina. The Buccaneers have advanced to the A-Sun championship final each of the past eight seasons.

Last season, the Bucs managed to record a perfect 8-0 record in A-Sun play, finishing runners up to North Florida.

The Buccaneers return six players from last season’s squad, including 2013 All-Atlantic Sun First Team selections Lyn Yee Choo (Kuching, Malaysia) and Giulia Andreazza (Balneario Camboriu, Brazil); however, this year’s team consists of just eight players, a much smaller lineup than head coach Travis Sandlant is accustomed to working with.

“It will be a tough season with a small squad,” Sandlant said. “But I believe we have the right players to compete. We may not be seen as the favorite this year, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. It will take some pressure off us.”

Earlier this fall, Choo, who was named the 2013 A-Sun Freshman of the Year, paired with Anna Gerbasi (Caracas, Venezuela) to receive the highest ever doubles ranking in program history. The duo earned the No. 51 national ranking in the ITA Women’s Division-I Preseason Doubles Rankings.

In addition to Choo, Gerbasi, and Andreazza, the Bucs will welcome back returning players Jessica Brumit (Elizabethton, Tenn.), Salma Dahbi (Marrakech, Morocco), and Sofia Espana (Mexico City, Mexico).

Jan. 2, Brumit and Dahbi were each ranked 118th in the ITA Women’s Division-I Rankings.

After sitting out last season, redshirt-freshman Augustina Amon (Bueons, Aires, Argentina) will join the fold for ETSU. Freshman Andreanna Christopoulou (Athens, Greece) will also join the Bucs this season.

Even with a smaller-than-usual lineup, Sandlant is confident ETSU will be able to compete within the Atlantic Sun conference.

“I believe in the girls,” Sandlant said. “If we are able to stay fit and healthy, this team should be dangerous in the conference tournament.”

ETSU will take on No. 33 South Carolina Saturday, Jan. 18 at 10:00 a.m. in the team’s season opener before hosting Appalachian State Sunday, Jan. 26 at 9:30 a.m.

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