Women's Tennis Opens 2012-13 Season With Sacred Heart Doubles Festival On Saturday

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HAMDEN, Conn. – The Quinnipiac University women's tennis team returns all but one of its players from last season's squad; a team that came within two points of their seventh Northeast Conference Championship. Revamped and ready, the 2012-13 Bobcats are prepared contend for another trip to the NCAA Tournament.

"We have a tremendous senior class," said Head Coach Mike Quitko. "They have experienced so much in their time here, and I think this year, if we keep everyone healthy, we can learn from last year's finish. I'm extremely excited to get the season underway."

The Bobcats begin their pursuit of the 2013 NEC Championship this weekend, led by two seniors Sarah Viebrock (Carmel, N.Y.) and Rachel Cantor (Short Hills, N.J.). In 2011-12, Viebrock and Cantor combined for a 15-4 record in doubles, which included a 7-0 start to the campaign. Viebrock went on to lead the Bobcats in overall wins (37) and singles' wins (15) en route to her second All-NEC accolade. Furthermore, she won her 100th career match in the NEC Tournament Quarterfinals, and added two more wins to move into 14th place on the all-time list.

Cantor, a two-time All-NEC honoree, combined to win 35 matches between doubles and singles last season. She has 93 career wins with the Bobcats, a figure that has her in a two-way tie for 19th on the all-time list. Cantor claimed double-digit wins (11) in singles competition for the third straight year, and boasted 24 triumphs in doubles.

Also returning to the roster for the 2012-13 season will be junior Lavinia Cristescu (West Hartford, Conn.) and a dynamic trio of sophomores, Michelle Dassa (Marlboro, N.J.), Jacqueline Raynor (Garden City, N.Y.) and Ariana Launie (Milton, Mass.). All four athletes compiled double-digits win totals in singles competition and at least 20 wins overall. Dassa, an All-NEC honoree, and Raynor combined to post a 22-4 record in doubles' action, playing at #2 for most of the season. Launie and Cristescu have 74 career wins between them.

The team's experience augments even more as the following returners are poised for the new season. These players include: seniors Morgan Crystal (Ridgefield, Conn.) and Erin Suvar (North Massapequa, N.Y.) and sophomore Morgan Massey (Branford, Conn.).

In addition to the nine returners, the Bobcats welcome three new faces to the squad as well. Junior transfer Mary Chupa (Bradenton, Fla.), junior Carly Loewenstein (Armonk, N.Y.) and Nicole Keklik (Stratford, Conn.) fill out the remaining slots of the team. Chupa, a former standout at West Virginia University, looks to make an immediate impact with her collegiate experience. She accumulated 37 wins at the Big East institution. 

"I think we have all the components to be very successful," said Coach Quitko. "I believe we have a very solid team, and that the key for us is to get off to a solid start and build on the momentum."

The 2012-13 season kicks off this weekend at the Sacred Heart Doubles Festival. The one-day tournament begins at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 8 at the Pioneer Tennis Courts in Fairfield, Conn.

Quinnipiac fans should refer to the Official Website of Quinnipiac Athletics, www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com, for any schedule changes as well as the latest news, scores and highlights. The 2012-13 Quinnipiac Women's Tennis Schedule will also be available for download at www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com for all mobile devices, including iPhones and iPads, as well as all desktop computers.

Contact: Tony Distasio; ardistasio@quinnipiac.edu