BABSON PARK, Mass.—Following a 16-win season that included a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEMWAC) Tournament title, the Babson College women's tennis team enters the 2015 campaign with hopes of repeating as conference champions.
Under the direction of 17th-year head coach Jim Berrigan, the Beavers finished 16-9 overall and 6-2 in league play and reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament in their first appearance. The Green and White, which claimed its first conference title since 2003, brings back six of its top eight players led by senior Tori Paolino (East Orleans, Mass.) and sophomore Yagmur Akgul (Istanbul, Turkey).
Paolino won 10 singles matches, which includes a 7-4 mark at number four, and matched her career high with 16 doubles triumphs last year. She enters her final campaign with 80 combined victories and has a chance to become just the seventh player since 2004 to reach 100 wins. Akgul burst onto the scene last season by going 21-1 in singles play and 16-3 in doubles matches on her way to being selected as the NEWMAC Rookie of the Year. An all-league first-team choice in both singles and doubles, she went unbeaten in dual-match play and was the region's top-ranked singles player at the end of the fall season.
Junior Dina Weick (Woodbridge, Conn.) is coming off a successful 2014-15 campaign that saw her win a career-high 11 singles matches, while the sophomore trio of Claire Foster (Orange, Conn.), Kylie Kam (Honolulu, Hawaii) and Jenny Quenard (St.-Legier, Switzerland) all made strong debuts. Foster finished second on the team with 19 singles victories, Quenard went 15-6 overall in singles, including a 10-3 mark at number three, and teamed with Kam to win 14 times split across second and third doubles.
"The first thing that strikes me about our team is how young we are," said Berrigan, who welcomes three first-year players to the program. "Right now we are pretty raw as a group but are working hard in camp to get better every day. We are really counting on Tori and Dina to fill the leadership void left by last year's senior class. We have to put last season behind us and realize that this is a new team and that we can accomplish a lot by pushing each other every day."
Babson, which opens with three of its first four matches at home, will once again face a tough fall schedule that includes eight NEWMAC matches as well as the ITA New England and NEWITT Tournaments. The Beavers open the season at Salve Regina University on Tuesday, September 1, before returning to Farwell Courts for their home opener on Wednesday, September 2, at 3:30 p.m.