Jan. 28, 2003
The University of Maryland women's tennis team will use the 2003 season as a means of establishing itself amongst the perennial powerhouses of the Atlantic Coast Conference. Finishing last season 10-11 and tied for sixth in the conference, the Terps have been hard at work in the offseason to change their fortunes for 2003. The coaching staff has recruited top freshmen from home and abroad, while the returners have gained valuable experience in summer tournaments and fall season play.
The Terps' team captains, senior Marta Jedrzejak (Sieradz, Poland) and junior Emily Marker (Ann Arbor, Mich.), will head the 2003 squad along with three-time All-ACC selection Delila Causevic (Sarajevo, Bosnia) and junior Chloe Chavardes (St. Nomlabreteche, France). The freshmen class is comprised of Jennifer Dent (Safety Harbor, Fla.), Andreea Fusea (Bucharest, Romania) and Ramona But (Timisoara, Romania).
"We are solid from top to bottom; we have an even lineup for the top six spots," head coach Martin Novak said. "I am glad that we have the perfect blend of experience, youth, quality and enthusiasm."
Jedrzejak, a former NCJAA Player of the Year, has shown great progress since she transferred to Maryland last season, according to Novak. Jedrzejak recorded seven singles wins during fall play and participated in the 2002 Omni Hotels Regional Tournament.
Marker will be returning as the Terps' captain for the second straight year. Over the summer, Marker captured first place in both singles and doubles play at the University of Michigan Intercollegiate Tennis Association tournament.
"I am very impressed with Emily's win this summer," Novak said. "Both her dedication and hard work in the offseason are indications of her drive."
During fall play, Marker compiled a 9-5 record, including the Flight A singles and doubles titles at the Maryland Invitational. Marker also represented the Terps at the ITA and Omni Hotels Regional tournaments. Her doubles play with teammate Causevic earned the duo a trip to the Omni Hotels National Intercollegiate Indoor Tennis Championships, held in Dallas.
Causevic, a "force to be reckoned with," according to Novak, led the Terps in fall play with 11 singles wins. She was a finalist at the Maryland Invitational and participated in the ITA and Omni Hotels Regional tournaments as well. Causevic advanced to the semifinals of the Omni Hotels Regionals and earned a spot with Marker at the Omni Hotels National Intercollegiate Indoor Tennis Championships for their doubles play. Her third straight All-ACC selection last season put Causevic in Maryland's record book, as she became the only women's player in school history to be selected to the All-ACC team for more than two years.
Chavardes rounds out the core of returners with her strong, aggressive style of play. She recorded a 6-4 fall season, highlighted by advancing to the singles finals of both the Maryland and Lady Vols invitationals.
"Chloe has improved her game and we are now seeing the confident, solid play that she is capable of," Novak said.
The freshmen class adds depth to the squad. Dent has proved to be a fast learner and a hardworker, while the Romanian tandem of But and Fusea bring with them vast tournament experience. Joining Novak in guiding this talented team will be first-year assistant coach Joey Barnes.
"Coach Barnes is a great asset because he brings with him experience and high quality of play," Novak said. "I couldn't have found a better coach."
Since the seven athletes size up fairly close to each other in terms of skill, the coaching staff will have the advantage and flexibility of moving players around in the lineup.
"I see our doubles play as an area with the most potential for mixing up players and utilizing our depth," Novak said.