BRADFORD, Pa. – The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford women's tennis team will begin its 2017 season Friday as they travel to Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference rival Pitt-Greensburg.
"Last season, injuries derailed what I was expecting to be a strong season," Head Coach Susan Schenfield said. "This year – without forming expectations – I am focusing on what each day can provide us. If we can continue to improve the way we have been, then we could have a great season."
The Panthers will compete with an experienced roster, bringing back seven players from last season while introducing one newcomer.
Seniors Alexa Holleran and Kayla Kerner will lead the way for the returners, while the youthful experience of Maya Bingaman, Rebecca Jordan, Aaliya Smith, Ashley Stoltz and Katelyn Wells will provide critical depth.
Freshman Jessica Jordan will join her sister, Rebecca, on the squad and serve as the team's lone newcomer.
Schenfield is pleased with the talent the team has and she's particularly excited about the doubles pairings.
"In doubles, we have the talent we desire," she said. "We have players whose skills balance each other out and who know their role in the duo. The returning player's leadership will hold things together when facing a tough opponent and hopefully lead the way to a successful season."
The Panthers are looking to build on a 3-8 season in 2016 and return to the AMCC playoffs.
"This team is ready to make a statement," Schenfield said. "Through their hard work, preparation and believing in themselves and each other, they can capitalize."
In facing Pitt-Greensburg, the Panthers have a chance to claim a win over an AMCC opponent right away.
The Bobcats went 4-6 overall in 2016, all four wins coming against AMCC opponents. They exited in the first round of the AMCC playoffs, falling 5-0 to the No. 4 seeded Penn State-Altoona.
Friday's match is set to begin at 6 p.m.