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Women’s Tennis Begins Fall Campaign at Wildcat Invite

Sept. 28, 2017

EAST LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan State women’s tennis team begins its 2017 fall campaign at the Northwestern Invite. The tournament will take place at the Vandy Christie Tennis Center from Friday, Sept. 29 through Sunday, Oct. 1.
 
In addition to the Spartans and host Wildcats, participating schools include Chicago State, DePaul, Florida State, Kentucky, Lewis, Marquette, Michigan, Montana, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, UIC and Utah.
 
The Spartans are coming off an impressive 2016-17 season, where they posted a regular season record of 17-7 and tied for fourth in the Big Ten. MSU went 7-4 in conference play, with its seven wins being the most since 1991 when the team went 7-6.
 
“We have to build off where we were last year,” said head coach Kim Bruno. “The girls put in a lot of work and they got a lot better. I think we’re starting where we left off and now we can reach a new height this season.”
 
This year’s roster returns six players from last season and welcomes four new Spartans: freshmen Sara Kuutila, Caroline Szabo and Ava Thielman, and senior Habiba Shaker.
 
All four new Spartans will take the court this weekend.
 
MSU has eight competitors participating in this weekend’s Wildcat Invite, including seniors Lexi Baylis and Aslina Chua. Baylis and Chua paired for doubles last season with a 2-1 record at No. 3 doubles.
 
Sophomore Samantha Memije will also be among the returners at the Wildcat Invite.
 
In the opening rounds of the Wildcat Invite, the Spartans will have five players competing in the singles competition. Thielman will face off against Andrea Amortegui of Marquette, Chua against Gabriella Rezende of Pittsburgh, Kuuttila will face Northwestern’s Julie Byrne, Memije will take on Ariana Rahmanparast of Florida State and Baylis will compete against Pittsburgh’s Jovana Knezevic.
 
In doubles play, the duo of Kuuttila and Shaker will face off against Kentucky’s Jacobs and Iglesias, Thielman and Chua will also take on North Dakota’s Bojczuk and Chong, Szabo and sophomore Julia Fenn will begin play in the second round. Baylis and Memije will compete against DePaul’s Avgeri and Kuzmenkova.
 
“I’m looking to see what we’re all about. This is our first weekend away, our first weekend with four new players. New team dynamic, new way that they’re going to step out onto the court and compete,” added Bruno. “I’m looking to see really what they’re going to bring to this weekend.”
 
The duo of juniors Emily Metcalf and Davina Nguyen are ranked No. 14 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Preseason National Doubles Rankings, which is the highest ranked Spartans doubles team in the ITA Preseason Rankings since Amy Barton and Marina Bohrer were ranked No. 23 at the beginning of the 2011-12 season. Last season, the pair was ranked 40th in the nation in doubles, which was the highest in season ITA ranking in school history.
 
Next up on the fall schedule for the Spartans is the ITA All Americans from Oct. 1-Oct. 9. MSU will send Metcalf and Nguyen to represent the Green and White.

 

 

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