the Road to Glory
Success does not happen overnight ... it takes time and time is what the Oakland University tennis team and head coach Heather Redshaw need. First year head coach Redshaw knew the Golden Grizzlies would have to travel on a bumpy road to get to glory one day.
The 2000-01 season was a bumpy road as the Grizzlies went 1-11 overall and 1-6 in the Mid-Continent Conference to give OU the second worst record in the Mid-Con. As for glory Redshaw and her troops know more bumpy roads are ahead before Oakland achieves glory.
The Grizzlies began their new season at Rochester High School as they hosted the Titans of Detroit Mercy (9/20). At the number one singles, Brittany Maxey was defeated by Maria Pandele, 6-0, 6-1, while Kristi Sabat lost to Erika Mainhardt, 6-1, 6-0, in number two singles. Sarah Hand fell to Vicki Parker, 6-1, 6-0, at the three spot and Jennifer Herrera lost to Renee Kuzqua, 6-1, 6-2, at number four singles. At the five spot Lisa Cross was defeated by Mandy Perzanowski, 6-1, 6-2, and Dawn Dillard fell to Jodi Back, 6-3, 6-2 in the six slot. In doubles action the team of Maxey and Sabat lost to Pandele and Mainhardt, 8-3, in the number one slot. At number two doubles Herrera and Hand fell to Parker and Perzanowski, 8-0, while Cross and Dillard were defeated by Kuzava and Back, 8-0, in three doubles.
OU then traveled to Cleveland, Ohio to battle the Cleveland State Vikings October, 21 for the Grizzlies second match of the season. At the number one singles, Brittany Maxey defeated Brandy Cera in two matches 7-6,7-6, while Kristy Sabat lost to Fatima Martin in three matches 7-5, 6-2, 6-4 in the number two singles. Jennifer Herrera fell to Diana Serafini 6-4, 6-2 in the three spot and Sarah Vanetta was defeated by Audrey Shade 6-0, 6-0 in the number four singles. Dawn Dillard was defeated by Erin Johnson 6-0, 6-1 in the fifth slot, while Barb Bobic from CSU won by default in the number six singles slot. In doubles action the team of Maxey and Sabat lost to Cera and Martin 8-2, in the number one slot. At the number two slot Herrera and Vanetta fell to Serafini 8-0.
Redshaw and the Grizzlies closed the fall season 0-3 as they lost for the third time to Wright State 1-8 at Rochester High School (10/22). OU was led at the number one singles slot, Brittany Maxey who picked up her second victory for the Golden Grizzlies defeating Kara Dunbar 6-3, 6-2. In the number two singles, Kristy Sabat was defeated by Leslie Marcom 6-1, 6-4, while Sarah Vanetta was handed a loss by Melissa Dunbar-Frece in the number three spot due to default. In the number four singles spot, Jennifer Herrera was defeated by Debbie Campbell 6-0, 6-0. In the fifth spot, Dawn Denton lost to Courtney Clatton 6-0, 6-0 while the sixth slot single occupied by Dawn Dillard fell to H.Shanjeau.
Oakland then took a couple months off and resumed play against Wright State and Wisconsin-Milwaukee in March. The Grizzlies fell to 0-5 on the year as they were defeated by Wright State 1-6, and the Wisconsin-Milwaukee 2-5 in the two-day event hosted by Wright State March 10-11.
In the first match OU was led by its number one singles player Brittany Maxey who defeated Leslie Marcum to pick up her first win in the spring season. Maxey defeated Marcum in two sets 6-2, 6-2. Maxey picked up Oakland's only win of the match as the final score read 1-6. In the second matchup Oakland Challenged Wisconsin-Milwaukee as Maxey again was victorious in the number one singles slot. She defeated Jamie Martin by the score of 6-2 and 6-3. Also victorious for the Golden Grizzlies was Theo Nae, the number three singles player, who defeated Cassie Kuranz 6-1, 6-2 for the win. This was Nae's first victory of the spring season.
March 23 -24 the Grizzlies traveled to Tulsa, Oklahoma to battle Mid-Con foes Oral Roberts and Western Illinois. OU faced the Golden Eagles of Oral Roberts on the 23 of March and was handed a 6-0 to drop OU to 0-6. On March 24 OU faced Western Illinois and lost to the Westerwinds 1-5. OU's only point came as Theo Nae defeated Emmy Cilek in the number three spot.
Oakland traveled to Cedar City, Utah to take part in another Mid-Con weekend battle, this time against Chicago State and host Southern Utah April 6-7. In the first game against Chicago State the Golden Grizzlies collected their first win of the season by shutting out the Cougars 8-0. In singles action for OU Brittany Maxey tallied her fifth win of the year in the No. 1 spot. Junior Kristy Sabat collected her first win of the year as she defeated CSU's Robin Tayler 6-0, 6-0 in the No. 2 spot. Junior Theo Nae also blanked her opponent 6-0, 6-0 to pick up her third win of the year. Freshman Lisa Cross and Dawn Dillard and sophomore Jennifer Herrera all collected their first win of the year against the Cougars. In doubles action, the tandem of Maxey and Sabat won 8-2 in the No. 1 spot. Also picking up wins were Nae and Cross and Herrera and Dillard in the two and three spots, respectively. Against Southern Utah Oakland came out strong as Maxey and Sabat won the one and two spots respectively. Southern Utah responded and ended up wining the match by the final of 2-5.
The Grizzlies returned home to host a Mid-Con weekend cluster at Rochester High School April 13-14. Oakland played in three matches and lost all three to IUPUI, Valparaiso and Youngstown State. On Friday the Golden Grizzlies were defeated by IUPUI 5-2 and by Valparaiso 6-1. In the IUPUI match OU's sophomore Brittney Maxey claimed a 6-3, 6-3 victory at the No. 1 singles and junior Theo Nae was victorious (5-7, 6-4, 10-8) at No. 3 singles. The team of freshman Lisa Cross and Nae claimed the No. 2 doubles victory, 9-8 (7-5).
In OU's second match on Friday against Valparaiso, Nae was the lone winner for the Golden Grizzlies as she claimed a 4-6, 6-3, 10-7 victory in No. 3 singles.
The Grizzlies last match of the season was against the Penguins of Youngstown State on April 14 at RHS. The Golden Grizzlies fell to the Penguins 6-1. Notching OU's only point in the loss was Maxey as won 6-1, 6-4 at No. 1 singles.
The Golden Grizzlies completed the regular season with a 1-11 overall record and a 1-6 mark in the Mid-Con. Redshaw and her squad have endured failure and heartache and have experienced the bumpy road to success but in the words of coaching great Vince Lombardi, "Success is like anything worthwhile. It has a price. You have to pay the price to win and you have to pay the price to get to the point where success is possible. Most important, you must pay the price to stay there."