Young Team Shows Improvement In 2003-04, Builds For The Future
With a very young and inexperienced team, Oakland women’s tennis coach, Heather Redshaw, could only ask her team to use the season to learn and grow. The nine player roster only contained three returnees; two seniors, who had to pave the road for the young Golden Grizzlies.
Opening the season at home, Oakland hosted St. Francis (Pa.) at local Stoney Creek High. The women posted an impressive 4-3 win, taking four matches in singles action. Spectacular performances highlighted by sophomore Lisa Pellafone’s 7-6 (7-2), 6-3 and freshman Angela Trecola’s 6-0, 6-0 wins in the Nos. 2 and 3 positions. In doubles play, freshman Jessica Erickson teamed with Trecola and cruised through the No. 2 position with an 8-1 win.
Redshaw coached her team to a brilliant show in their first meeting versus UMKC with a 4-0 sweep. The Golden Grizzlies were too much for the Kangaroos as Oakland breezed through the singles and doubles competition. Freshmen Trecola (3S) 6-1, 6-0, Stephanie Potiris (5S) 6-4, 6-0, and Lauren Sanchez-Murphy (6S) 6-1, 6-0 swept the singles while Erickson and Trecola finished the most intense match of the day pulling out an 8-6 victory in the doubles.
After finishing the fall season with a three game skid, tennis opened the spring season defeating Robert Morris 6-1, picking up wins in the 1, 3, 4, and 5 singles match-ups, just posting one loss in a grueling 6-1, 6-7 (5-7), 14-16 match-up of Pellafone and Julie Wolf of Robert Morris. The women swept the doubles matches, taking the Nos. 1 and 2 flights 8-4, and 8-2.
Closing out the season, the Grizzlies finished in Las Vegas in a rematch with UMKC. The women concluded the season as they began, with a victory. Though UMKC returned with a bigger fight, they could not compete with Oakland’s tenacity. OU went 5-1 in singles as senior Brittany Maxey took the No. 1 singles match winning 6-0, 6-2 while Trecola, Erickson, Sanchez-Murphy, and sophomore Emily Kahanak worked a little harder to win the 3-6 positions. In doubles, the Grizzlies lost the battle at the No. 1 position, 2-8, but completed the match with an 8-5 win by Erickson/Maxey and 8-0 sweep by Kahanak/Sanchez-Murphy in positions 2 and 3.
The incoming freshman did an excellent job with their opening campaign as Potiris 7-5 (3-2 Mid-Con) and Sanchez-Murphy 6-5 (4-2 Mid-Con) were the only players to post season records over .500. As a team the Golden Grizzlies improved their win totals from the previous season and moved up in the final Mid-Con standings to a tie for seventh. The team was young, but their encouraging play and the experience they gained in the 2003-04 season bodes well for the future of women’s tennis at Oakland University.