The AU Women’s Tennis team may not have won the Patriot League Championship, but the Eagles did not go quietly into the end of the season.
Earning the No. 3 seed in the PL Tournament, the team defeated No. 2 seed Colgate 4-3 in the semifinals. Advancing to the championship game, the Eagles faced No.1 seed Army. The competition proved to be strong and the 2002 defending champions fell to Army, 4-0.
Head Coach Carol Daniels was pleased with her team for the enormous effort they displayed through the whole season.
“Personally, I’m very proud,” Daniels said. “We only had six players [on the team] and all six girls played in every competition except one.”
Fortunately, next year will be different with six freshmen and one sophomore joining the team, according to Daniels.
“There is a diverse level of play with the new [members of the team]; some have more experience in competitive play than others,” Daniels said.
Contrary to last year’s roster with the top four players hailing from places such as Bulgaria, Slovakia and Moscow, the new members are all from the U.S. or “domestic girls,” as Daniels says.
Despite the loss in the finals, several members of the squad were awarded spots on the all-league team. Most notably, junior Katarina Kollarova was named Women’s Tennis PL Player of the Year.
“She is her own person with a highly intelligent level of play,” Daniels said of Kollarova. “She’s self-sufficient, a high achiever and all I can do [is] give her moral support.”
Three team members joined Kollarova in the spotlight. Junior Kristina Georgieva earned a spot on the PL first team while senior Olga Mikhailova and sophomore Aleksandra Zerkalova were named to the second team.
Daniels is looking to her seniors to lead the team through next year’s season and, in particular, Georgieva. She has been on the team at AU all three years, the longest of the squad.
“Army, be forewarned,” Daniels said. Her Eagles are “hungry for the PL Championship.”