BABSON PARK, Mass.—After a fourth consecutive trip to the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Tournament semifinals combined with the return of five of its top six players from last season, the Babson College women's tennis team is poised to challenge for a league title in 2014.
Following a 10-win campaign last year and the influx of six first-year players to go along with a returning veteran group, 16th-year head coach Jim Berrigan is excited about the upcoming season. "Our team is beginning to take shape," said Berrigan. "We have to improve our overall fitness and strength, and in order to be at the top of the NEWMAC the experience from our upperclassmen has to filter down to our first-year players. Everyone on the squad is going to need to contribute for us to be successful and we are looking forward to the challenges ahead of us."
Leading the Beavers will be the senior trio of Alex Freeman (Medfield, Mass.), Alexis Ferraro (Coral Gables, Fla.) and Courtney Fischer (Greenwich, Conn.). Freeman, who matched her career high with 12 singles victories last season, has won 36 career matches at number one singles to go along with 29 doubles triumphs. Ferraro is coming off of a breakout junior campaign that saw her set career highs with 14 singles wins and 16 doubles victories, the latter of which tied for the team lead. Fischer is also coming off the best season of her career after winning seven singles matches and posting 11 doubles triumphs in 2013-14.
Junior Tori Paolino (East Orleans, Mass.) led the Green and White with 15 singles wins last season while teaming with Ferraro to collect 16 victories in doubles play. She went 12-5 at number five singles last year and has won a total of 29 doubles matches over her first two campaigns for the Beavers. Sophomore Dina Weick (Woodbridge, Conn.) also returns for the Beavers and is looking to build on a positive rookie campaign that saw her collect seven victories at number two singles and nine wins at number one doubles.
The Beavers, who will open with four of their first five matches on the road, will once again face one of the region's top schedules this season. In addition to eight NEWMAC matches, the Green and White will take on five teams that reached the NCAA Tournament last spring, including Williams College, which reached the national semifinals.
Babson opens the season against Roger Williams University at Farwell Courts on August 29 at 3:30 p.m.