August 29, 2001
Women's tennis heading for another successful season
The University of Southern Indiana women’s tennis team had one of the best seasons in school history, finishing second in the Great Lakes Valley Conference. The Screaming Eagles, who ranked 17th in the Midwest Region last spring, finished the fall 17-4, 8-1 in the GLVC, and posted an eight-match winning streak.
Last fall, USI stormed through the fall schedule, compiling an 8-0 record to start the season, finishing with a 15-2 record and a second place finish in the GLVC. The only two losses pinned to the Eagles came at the hands of GLVC champion Northern Kentucky University.
In the spring, the Eagles were 2-2, playing in their first spring schedule, another reason the squad was ranked regionally for the first time.
To continue the success of a year ago, the Eagles will lean heavily upon its All-Great Lakes Valley Conference number one and two singles players, senior Michelle Lenahan (Vincennes, Indiana) and junior Emily Blinzinger (Oakland City, Indiana). Lenahan played number one singles for the Eagles and posted a 19-8 record, 7-2 in the GLVC, while Blinzinger posted a team-best and school record 21-6 overall record, a perfect 9-0 in the GLVC. Lenahan and Blinzinger teamed together at number one doubles to post a 16-6 record, 7-1 in the GLVC.
At number three singles, USI will look for sophomore transfer Kathleen Davis (Sullivan, Indiana) to fill the void left by the graduation of Kelly Sergesketter. Davis, whose brother Ethan will play for the men’s team, was 3-13 last season for Southeast Missouri State University.
The four and five singles position could be up for grabs between senior Gwen Gosman (Jasper, Indiana) and sophomore Nicole Freyberger (Jasper, Indiana). Gosman was 13-7 last season, 7-4 in the number four slot, while Freyberger was 14-6 overall, 7-2 in the number five slot.
Rounding out the singles line-up, USI has a hole to fill at number six. Emily Nall, who was 9-2 a year ago, graduated last spring. Junior Jamie Carie (Washington, Indiana), who played number two as a freshman and at number four last season, could move into the spot vacated by Nall. Carie was 4-5 in singles last year.
Other options include senior Kristy Hite (Lake Station, Indiana), freshman Kalie Ackerman (Allendale, Indiana), or freshman Amanda Whittenburg (Poplar Bluff, Missouri). Hite saw limited action last spring while Ackerman was the Southern Illinois Tennis Association Outstanding Junior Female Tennis Player of the Year in 2000. Whittenburg qualified for state in 2000-01 in doubles play.
In doubles, USI will rebuild and find the right combination at the number two and three doubles teams. Carie will need a new teammate at number three doubles after playing with Sergesketter to produce the most productive doubles team in school history, 13-0 overall and 7-0 GLVC.
At number two, the Eagles had six different combinations in 21 matches. Freyberger has the most experience of the returning players at number two, posting an 8-10 record with Jenny Ravellette last year.
In singles play, the Eagles posted a combined 95-46 record and were 43-10 in GLVC play. USI posted a combined doubles record of 50-28, 19-8 in the GLVC.
Despite the success USI enjoyed in singles play, Head Coach Keely Porter sees room for improvement. “We have the most room to improve in doubles play,” Porter stated.
“We won over 70 percent of our doubles pro-sets, but we won most of those from the baseline in a defensive formation,” Porter explained. “I’d like nothing more than to see all three doubles teams serving and attacking this fall.
“I believe the players really worked hard this summer,” said Porter. “They do not want to take a break and have been hitting on their own.”
“I was especially pleased with Lenahan and Blinzinger this fall,” Head Coach Keely Porter said. “My recruiting priority is to bring in another player of their caliber. If number three through five singles are able to move down another position,