May 9, 2003
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The University of Maryland women's tennis team (10-11, 2-6 ACC) began the season with what head coach Martin Novak called "the perfect blend of experience, youth, quality and enthusiasm." Although the team faced adversity this season, they battled back from injuries and a five-player roster to finish the year strong and prove that Novak had a winning combination.
The Terps began 2003 with five wins over George Washington, Georgetown, Old Dominion and American. Senior Marta Jedrzejak (Sieradz, Poland), juniors Emily Marker (Ann Arbor, Mich.) and Chloe Chavardes (St. Nomlabreteche, France) were joined by three freshmen with huge potential. The trio of Ramona But (Timisoara, Romania), Andreea Fusea (Bucharest, Romania) and Jennifer Dent (Safety Harbor, Fla.) made their mark on the tennis court from the very first match, in which all three posted straight-set wins.
Maryland was edged at Penn State, 4-3, for their first loss of the year, but Marker, But and Fusea all notched singles victories. From Penn State, the Terps played consecutive road matches against West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Princeton, Virginia Tech, Ohio State and William & Mary. The team went 3-4 during this time, earning victories over West Virginia, Princeton and Virginia Tech.
The Terps began ACC play on March 25 in Tallahassee. To this point, they were 8-4 on the year and fairly healthy. However, the match would be the first of five matches that the team had to play with only five players due to an injury to Andrea Fusea.
The Terps dropped matches to Florida State, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Duke and North Carolina during this time. But on April 9, the Terps traveled to Charlottesville, Va., to take on the University of Virginia and nearly scored an upset of the then-No. 32 Cavaliers. Fusea returned to action in the match, and with a full roster the Terps just missed posting their first ACC victory, losing 4-3.
They didn't have to wait much longer for that first conference win, because less than a week later the Terps notched wins over NC State and Wake Forest in the last homestand at the Tennis Center at College Park.
But, Marker and Jedrzejak all had singles victories against the Wolfpack, and the doubles point proved to the difference as the team won by a score of 4-3.
The story was the same against Wake Forest, as Marker and Chavardes put singles points on the board with victories and the Terps' lone senior, Jedrzejak, finished out her career as a Terp with a victory. Doubles was the difference again against the Demon Deacons, and the Terps pulled out another 4-3 victory.
When the seeds came out for the ACC Championships, Maryland was No. 7 and would face No. 8 Wake Forest in the conference tournament in Raleigh.
Despite a singles victory from Marker and the doubles team of But and Jedrzejak, the team lost its first-round match to Wake Forest, 4-1. Although they had an early exit from the tournament, Ramona But was named to the All-ACC team and rose to a No. 85 national ranking.
The doubles team of But and Jedrzejak, who posted an impressive 7-2 record, just missed postseason play at the NCAA Championships, being selected as third alternates.
The Terps are poised to build on the successes of this year and have an incoming class that the coaches are predicting will make an immediate impact. Marker, the team's co-captain, and Chavardes return for their senior seasons and the trio of Dent, Fusea and But now have an important year of experience under their belt. The future looks bright for the 2004 campaign.