HAMDEN, Conn. – Quinnipiac University women's tennis head coach Mike Quitko has announced that senior Mary Chupa (Bradenton, Fla.) will serve as the team captain for the 2013-14 season and will be assisted by juniors Jacqueline Raynor (Garden City, N.Y.), Michelle Dassa (Marlboro, N.J.) and Ariana Launie (Milton, Mass.).
"I'm very pleased to announce that Mary, Jackie, Michelle and Ariana will serve as team captains of this year's women's tennis team," said Quitko. "They all have an extreme passion for the team but also have high expectations for themselves as well. Their hard work and dedication has been remarkable, and each is poised to lead the team this year as we enter our newest challenge of joining the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC)."
Chupa, the Bobcats' lone senior on the squad this year, emerged as a leader in just one year with the program. Chupa came to Quinnipiac from West Virginia University and made an immediate impact at #5 singles. Chupa was 11-14 in singles which included a nice win in the NEC Tournament Quarterfinals against an opponent from Mount St. Mary's. In addition, Chupa also fulfilled a spot in doubles competition as she paired with Launie at #3 doubles. They went 16-10 on the year and earned an NEC Second Team Doubles selection at season's end. Chupa has a career record of 64-41 with one more year of eligibility to go.
Raynor, who is fresh off one of the most decorated seasons in program history, was named First Team Singles and Doubles last year. She added 43 wins to her career total after posting 20 wins at singles and 23 wins at doubles. Included in her 20 wins at singles was a 9-1 record down the final stretch, which included three wins in the NEC Tournament. Raynor's run was highlighted by a 6-4, 6-1 win over FDU's Egzona Morina at No. 2 singles in the championship match. Raynor upped her career total to 77 wins and is on pace to challenge Stephanie Petrycki's (165) all-time win total at Quinnipiac.
Dassa concludes the captain quartet, another junior who eclipsed the 70-win mark last year. Bruised and battered all season long, Dassa mustered 38 wins between singles and doubles play. Her season was highlighted by a win against LIU Brooklyn in the NEC Semifinals, when she defeated Lisa Maas, 6-3, 6-2, at #4 singles to help QU advance to the NEC Championship match. Dassa is 70-39 overall which accumulates to a .642 winning percentage. She was also just one of three freshmen to be voted as an All-NEC singles performer in 2011-12. Dassa excelled in league play, winning four-of-six matches while competing at the #4 flight in her rookie campaign.
Launie, who joined Dassa on All-NEC Second Team Singles, also battled injuries late in the season but came through for the Bobcats on the final day. Launie outlasted FDU's Manuela Leme, 7-5, 6-4, at No. 6 singles to tie the championship match at three apiece. Launie collected a total of 30 wins this past season and surpassed the 50-win plateau for her career. She has 59 victories in a Bobcat uniform and cracked top-20 in career wins at singles in the Division I era.
Quinnipiac's 2013-14 season kicks off on Saturday, Sept. 7 at the Sacred Heart Doubles Festival in Fairfield, Conn. The Bobcats will join five other teams including Sacred Heart, UConn, Providence, Fairfield and Bryant. First serve is set for 9 a.m.