BABSON PARK, Mass.—After making a third consecutive league tournament semifinal appearance and returning its top four players, the Babson College women's tennis team is poised to continue its recent success and challenge for a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) championship this fall.
The Beavers finished at 9-10 last season but won seven of those matches in the fall when they tied for third in the league and lost to Wellesley in the NEWMAC Tournament. The Green and White, which was picked third in the first-ever conference preseason poll, must replace Victoria Lorido and Minte Tamoshunas, who combined for 19 singles victories and paired up to win 13 doubles matches on the way to earning All-NEWMAC honors last year.
Leading the core of returners will be senior captain Sarah Whitaker (Dellwood, Minn.) and junior captain Alex Freeman (Medfield, Mass.). Whitaker has won 26 matches over her three-year career, including eight in each of the last two years at second singles, while also picking up 29 doubles victories. Freeman led Babson with 13 victories last year, 12 of them coming at number-one singles, while also winning nine doubles matches.
Junior Alexis Ferraro (Coral Gables, Fla.) is coming off a tremendous sophomore campaign, finishing third on the team with 10 wins, including an 8-5 mark at number-four singles, which helped her earn All-NEWMAC first-team honors. Ferraro also won a team- and career-high 14 doubles matches, and now has 23 doubles triumphs over her first two seasons. Sophomore Tori Paolino (East Orleans, Mass.) is coming off a terrific rookie year where she won 10 singles matches and paired with Ferraro to pick up 11 of her 13 doubles victories.
Junior Courtney Fischer (Greenwich, Conn.), who won eight matches as a first-year in 2011-12, and her younger sister Nicole, who was injured much of last season, are also back for the Green and White. Head coach Jim Berrigan, in his 15th season, welcomes a pair of first-year players to the program in Sarah Calmas (Chestnut Hill, Mass.) and Dina Weick (Woodbridge, Conn.).
"We are looking forward to the fall season," says Berrigan, who is the program's all-time winningest coach. "We have four players coming back from our starting line up with a great deal of experience from last season and are looking for them to really step up this year."
The Beavers open their season at Roger Williams University this Friday at 4:00 pm and will begin conference play at Springfield on Saturday, September 7. Babson will play its first home match against Simmons on Wednesday, September 11.