YORK, Pa. – The York College women's tennis team embarks on the 2012 spring campaign looking to build off an 11-7 season from last year. The Spartans will look to combine their core of experienced players with a solid group of newcomers who will look to grow throughout the season.
"[We] put together a solid season last year, Spartan head coach Ryan Weber said, "and I believe we can do so again this season."
Highlighting the Spartan returners is senior Katelyn Acker who will look for an outstanding close to her career with the Green and White. A two-time All-Capital Athletic Conference selection, Acker established a new program-record with 12 singles victories last season as she finished the campaign with a 12-7 mark, having played each of her matches in the second spot. Playing high in the lineup throughout her career, Acker has played in 58 singles matches during her time, including a 23-13 record over the previous two campaigns.
"Katelyn has had a huge impact on our team in her four seasons at York," Weber said, "and her consistency, both in regard to her style of play and her ability to pick up victories, will be a big factor in our results. She's capable of having an excellent final season."
Samantha Brenner, Megan McCullin, Arcondia Vlahos, and Nicole Olson also return to the Spartan squad this season. Brenner brings plenty of experience as she has played in 48 singles matches during her career as well as 42 doubles matches. She will look to utilize that extensive experience this season and help the Green and White snag additional victories.
McCullin has put together a solid first two seasons with the Spartans and could post a breakout 2012. She has accumulated 37 singles matches of experience as well as quality court time in doubles play. McCullin has also developed into a solid leader for the Green and White who will seek to help the squad improve this season.
Vlahos and Olsen will strive to build off their respective rookie campaigns. Vlahos won eight of her 18 freshman-season singles matches while notching a 5-7 mark in doubles. Olson gained quality experience as a rookie as she saw court time in 11 singles matches and went 6-5 in doubles.
"In order for the team to be successful, the four returning starters are going to have to contribute in a big way," Weber said. "Brenner and McCullin both have plenty of experience and I'm hoping they will be able to put it to use this year and provide a sense of consistency to the middle of the line-up."
Joining York's crew of experienced student-athletes are six newcomers who will look to be gain experience and be contributors this season. Freshman Kacie Weatherhead, who has already made an impact during the fall campaign and at York's annual winter break trip to Hilton Head, S.C., will look to play in the Spartans' second singles position and could mature into a tremendous player in the coming years.
Newcomers Nicole Brown and Christina Robinson join the Green and White as sophomores while Emily Price, Emily Skutnik, and Lauren Valles enter their freshman campaigns. Each will look to gain experience this season and improve their game throughout the spring.
"Kacie has a ton of potential and I believe she will continue to add to her game," Weber said. "I'm excited to get the chance to coach her and look forward to her contributing greatly to the team's success this season and in the coming years. I'm also excited about the potential of the other newcomers to the squad and know that they will work hard on their games during this season and over summer break."
York, which already has competed in the fall ITA Regional Tournament as well as a total of four dual matches, looks to put together a solid spring campaign. The Spartans do face a pair of tough CAC opponents in Mary Washington and Salisbury while York plays a majority of their spring contests within a one-month timeframe.
"While we've had a tough start to the season results-wise," Weber said, "I believe the team will turn it around and continue to improve as the season progresses."
The Spartans travel to aforementioned Mary Washington on Friday, March 16, as they take on the Eagles in a 5:30 pm CAC tilt.
PHOTO: Katelyn Acker (left) and Samanthan Brenner (right) enter their senior seasons with the Spartan women's tennis program. Both photos courtesy of Zach Clabaugh - www.sharpedgephoto.com