Tennis Techsters Preparing For Spring Season Start


Updated Jan 21, 2005 15:40:29
Tennis Techsters Preparing For Spring Season Start

Louisiana Tech's tennis team picked up the pace Friday as the Techsters began their last week of preseason practice.

Tech opens its 2005 spring tennis season next Friday at Grambling State University before playing host to Stephen F. Austin next Saturday.

The Tennis Techsters are coming off one of their best spring seasons in years after going 9-12.

That mark included wins in four of the last five regular-season matches last season, and after a strong showing in their fall tennis slate, the Tennis Techsters are primed to get off to a quick start this season.

"We have a solid foundation in place and did a good job of building it last year," Tech coach Terrence De Jongh said. "The foundation is there with six solid returning players. Now we just have to keep building upward and bring this program to a level it's never been before."

Senior Anabella Duque should play a vital role for Tech after going 5-1 in fall play and a 13-6 mark last spring.

Fellow senior Saharai Uriarte will again be one of Tech's main players after posting an 11-8 mark last spring while De Jongh hopes Monica Kelly can avoid a sophomore slump after going 12-7 last spring and 3-3 in the fall.

"Monica played a big role as a freshman and she'll be a big singles player for us," De Jongh said. "Like Anabella, Saharai is one of team leaders and top players, so we'll be looking for a lot from her too."

Holly Ready will also be called on for senior leadership after playing in primarily the No. 1 singles position last year while Avril Martinez is back after posting an 11-9 mark as a sophomore.

Katie Westbrook was another solid freshman for the Tennis Techsters last season with a 7-6 singles record and will be looking to build on that mark this season.

"We feel very good heading into the season just because we have good talent and experience returning," De Jongh said. "We're just going to try to get off a good start, because I think that will be a big part of a good season. If we can get off to a quick start, we should be able to keep building momentum as the season progresses."