BRIDGEWATER, Va. – Bridgewater College head coach Conor Smith and the Eagles women's tennis team return nearly everyone from a team that turned in a number of record-setting performances a season ago.
This season, the Eagles will be without the services of Megan Mathias and Alissa Michael, who graduated last Spring. Mathias was the No. 1 player on the squad for the entire season, while Michael was the consistent No. 3.
"It's never easy replacing seniors like Megan and Alissa, but I do think we brought some solid recruits in and return a good group of players, so while we will miss those two, I think we may have a chance to replace them as well," said head coach Conor Smith who is in the midst of his fourth season at the helm.
Aside from the team's losses, the Eagles return a talented group, including the duo of Emily Schweitzer and Ally McConaughy, which set the school wins record last season in doubles play. Schweitzer and McConaughy rolled to a 17-4 record last season to eclipse the old Bridgewater standard en route to earning Old Dominion Athletic Conference honors as a tandem.
Bridgewater also returns its top performer in singles from a season ago in sophomore Amanda Gorby. Gorby won a team-high 14 matches on the season, including a 12-7 mark in conference play, mostly from her No. 6 post.
Stone took some lumps last season as a freshman in the No. 2 spot, but will be looked upon to draw on her experience from last season as she moves into her sophomore campaign.
McGhee was solid at No. 4 last season, turning in an 11-11 overall mark while McConaughy went 11-9 at No. 5.
"It's an upscale progression. You expect them to get better, and if not, I'm doing something wrong. From a numbers standpoint, we have enough young and quality depth that some starters from last year may not play as much this year, but I feel that's a good position to be in," said Smith of his returning group.
Smith also brought in a talented class of freshmen to push the returners in the ladder.
Bergey competed at nearby Eastern Mennonite High School where she had success on the hard court but saw the majority of her success come from her action on the hardwood. During her time at EMHS, Bergey was the all-time leading scorer on the girls basketball team.
"I've been watching Katy for a few years now and what she doesn't have in experience she easily makes up for in just raw athletic ability. She brings a lot of intangibles to the court," said Smith.
Gordon joins the team after playing for one of the more successful teams in the state at John Handley. JHHS won three state titles during Gordon's time with the program.
"Katie has been on teams that have played for and won state titles. She's an excellent doubles player, but is also a very sound singles player. She could make a big impact for us this Spring," commented Smith.
Wilson comes from the Lynchburg area where she was the No. 1 singles player for much her career at Heritage High School.
"Brittany played a lot of No. 1 singles at Heritage and is a great competitor. She's pretty sound technique wise and I think she's excited just to be one of many players on a team instead of the main target at No. 1," said Smith
Bridgewater opens the 2011 Spring season on February 19 when the team travels to Washington and Lee for a pair of ODAC contests against the host Generals and Lynchburg College.