Jan. 18, 2000
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The 2000 women's tennis team begins its spring competition this weekend when it travels to Chapel Hill, N.C., to compete at the ACC Indoor Championships on Jan. 21. Making the trip to North Carolina will be senior Stacy Walkowitz (Coral Springs, Fla.), juniors Chrissie Terrill (Plano, Tex.) and Catherine Valantin (Metz, France) and freshmen Delila Causevic (Silver Spring, Md.) and Jessica Johnson (Pittsburgh, Pa). Pairing up for doubles will be Causevic/Johnson and Walkowitz/Terrill. After having a successful fall campaign, the Terps look to build upon one of the most successful women's tennis teams in Maryland's history and become one of the top teams in the ACC. Seniors Lorraine Bittles (Nashville, Tenn.) and Stacy Walkowitz and junior Chrissie Terrill return this year to lead the team into a new era. The team has a pre-season ranking of 39 by the ITA and fifth in the ACC.
Terps Welcome Newcomers and Prepare for 2000
The 2000 Terrapin women's tennis team enters this benchmark year with hopes of becoming one of the top teams in the ACC and returning to the NCAA Tournament for the fourth consecutive time. Coach Jim Laitta is confident that this will happen with four strong returning players and three newcomers rounding out an already successful team.
"This will be our strongest team from top to bottom," said Laitta. "Our goal is to finish in the top half of the conference and qualify for the NCAA team championships."
Lorraine Bittles looks to make her third consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament while teammates Stacy Walkowitz, Chrissie Terrill and Courtney Perkins (Seattle, Wash. ) also return to the fold this year to secure their spots in the lineup.
Adding depth to the lineup are newcomers Jessica Johnson, Catherine Valantin and Delila Causevic. Johnson and Causevic are freshmen while Valantin is a transfer from Broward County Community College in Florida.
The key to the success of the team, said Laitta, is how the players will pair up for competition.
"Our priority is to develop our doubles and the key will be how well we play there," said Laitta.
The Terps will be looking to find a powerhouse doubles pair who can continue the success that Bittles and Meg Griffin, who now serves as the student assistant for the team, enjoyed together for three years. Terrill and Walkowitz may be the pair to step into the No. 1 spot this season, they are ranked No. 10 in the Eastern Region pre-season rankings.
Former Tennis Star Meg Griffin Joins 2000 Terps as Student Assistant
Meg Griffin (1996-1999) is in her first year as the student assistant for the tennis team after completing a stellar career with the Terps. Griffin will be involved in all facets of the program.
Griffin finished the 1998-99 season as the East Regional Player of the Year and was voted all-conference in the ACC. She also made a trip with her teammates to the NCAA Tournament and competed at nationals in both singles and doubles competition.
Griffin will graduate from Maryland this May with a degree in international business and marketing.
Maryland Coach Jim Laitta
Jim Laitta begins a benchmark year in 2000 with his 10th season at Maryland. Arriving at Maryland in 1991, Laitta began his first season with a team that did not have any scholarship players. The 1998-99 season marked the first year that the program offered eight scholarships. Laitta has taken his team to the NCAA Tournament three times in four years.
In the last three years, Maryland has finished in the top half of the conference. The 1999 team saw the team achieve the "triple crown" at the NCAA Tournament by competing as a team and in singles and doubles, this was the first time in the team's history that this was accomplished.
Prior to coming to Maryland, Laitta was the head women's coach at Mississippi State from 1989-90. Laitta played collegiately at Eastern Kentucky where he earned his degree in psychology in 1988.
Match Facts and Coverage
ACC Indoor Championships
Dates: Jan. 21 - 24
Time: All Day
Site: Chapel Hill, N.C.
Date: Jan. 29
Time: 1:00 p.m.
Site: College Park, Md.
Date: Jan. 30
Time: 1:00 p.m.
Site: College Park, Md.