|Fall campaign set to get underway|
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The first of four fall tournaments in addition to a pair of home dual matches is set to commence this weekend, as the Charlotte women's tennis team travels to Charleston, S.C., for the College of Charleston Invitational.
"I'm looking to see how match-ready we are," head coach Michaela Gorman said. "The days will be long, as we'll get to the courts around 6:45 or 7 a.m. and not leave until about 6:45 or 7 p.m. It's a grind but it's a good way to get the players to gauge where they are physically and mentally and to keep working hard to prepare for the rest of the season."
The 49ers are coming off a 16-6 campaign in which they played in 10 region matches, posting a 7-3 ledger. Charlotte won three of its last five contests, including a pair of 4-3 road decisions.
In the fall , the 49ers competed in three tournaments, including the College of Charleston Invitational, with Natsuko Takayanagi collecting a team-high six singles wins, one more than Iveta Guneva.
The pair comprises two of eight overall returners for Gorman, who enters her 10th season at the helm of the program. Crossing the 100-win plateau last spring, she is the second winningest coach in school history.
Joining Guneva as seniors in 2012-13 are Anna Ekelund, Ginny Johnson and Alexandra Zinn. Zinn, Takayanagi and graduated senior Andrea Rivera represented Charlotte on the All-Atlantic 10 teams a year ago.
Takayanagi was tabbed the team MVP after opening her collegiate career with a 23-7 singles record, including 17-5 in dual action. She was one of five 49ers to tally double-digit singles triumphs during the year.
Ekelund and Lisa Grosselius formed the best doubles tandem, finishing with a 21-2 ledger, including an 18-2 mark in dual play.
The College of Charleston Invitational features the host Cougars, who advanced to the NCAA First Round in May, along with Armstrong Atlantic State, Coastal Carolina, Davidson, Samford and Stetson.