Women's Tennis Had Much To Celebrate In 2010
May 12, 2010
CINCINNATI - With the 2010 women's tennis season officially in the books, Xavier head coach Eric Toth has had time to reflect on what was, by all accounts, a successful campaign.
The Musketeers battled back from early season adversity in 2010. After a slow start to the season, Xavier rallied to post a 14-9 record including a 6-0 mark in the Atlantic 10. Freshman Katie Pleiman earned A-10 Rookie of the year, two XU netters earned All-Conference honors, and junior Christie Pleiman was named to the Academic All-Conference team.
"This year's team will be remembered for their ability to compete and fight each and every time we took to court," said XU tennis coach Eric Toth. "Starting the year 0-5 would make many teams pack it and prevent themselves from having a successful season. Not these girls. They adjusted to what we were not doing well in the early going to win 14 of their last 18 matches.
The Musketeers continued to improve during the conference portion of the schedule, posted a perfect 6-0 record in A-10 play, and earned a No. 1 seed in the conference tournament.
"Our success within the conference was another highlight of the season," said Toth. "Going 6-0 through the regular season and earning the No. 1 seed in the A-10 tournament speaks to how dialed in this group is when we compete a conference opponent."
To Toth, one match stood out as an example of the Musketeers' tenacity.
"The St. Louis match was probably the match of the year," said Toth. "Battling back from 0-3 and having Kelsey Kinnard come back from being down 1-4 in the final set with the match on the line. The end of season tournament certainly did not turn out the way we planned. A team (Charlotte) was just a little better than us on one night which can happen at any time during the year, but is magnified when it happens to you at the conference tournament when so much is on the line. Hopefully, next year's returning players learned from that disappointment and will use it as motivation to working towards the 2011 A-10 championship."
The 2010 Musketeers saw strong performances from all classes. Seniors Jill Ducro and Kaitlyn Zinn provided veteran leadership, juniors Tifanie Treece and Christie Pleiman had strong seasons, and freshman Katie Pleiman earned Atlantic 10 honors in her rookie season.
Ducro ended the season 15-8 singles mark during the dual match portion of the season and a 17-6 record in doubles play in 2010. Her strong showing in her senior season earned the Cincinnati native an Atlantic 10 Second Team All-Conference selection. Most of Ducro's singles wins came in the No. 3 slot where she posted a 10-7 record.
Xavier's other senior, Zinn, also had a successful season. In 2010, she posted a 15-6 singles mark with most of her wins coming at the No. 5 position.
"Individually, you first have to point to our senior class. Jill Ducro and Kaitlyn Zinn have been a huge part of our success over the last several years. This year was certainly no exception," said Toth. "Jill worked hard last off-season to get in the best physical shape of her life and also spent extra hours on the court to solidfy her game. Kaitlyn is one of the best competitors the Xavier program has ever seen. She ended her career on quite a winning streak. Their leadership and ability to win for their team time and time again will be missed.
Junior Kelsey Kinnard finished the 2010 season with a solid record. She went 12-9 in singles action during the 2010 season with the majority of her wins coming at the fifth and sixth positions. In doubles play she went 10-12 including an 8-11 record with Treece in the No. 1 position.
Treece earned an Atlantic 10 First Team All-Conference selection for her exploits on the court in 2010. She earned an 11-10 record in singles play in 2010 with a 7-10 record in the second slot.
"We have a lot of pieces in place for next year's team which will enable us to have another successful season," said Toth. "Our newly elected captains Tifanie Treece and Christie Pleiman have been involved in many meaningful matches in their three years here and know what it takes to be successful in our program. Their leadership will be necessary to keep the existing players working as they should and to provide the new additions to the team a clear blueprint as to what needs to be done to have worthwhile experience while competing here at Xavier."
Christie Pleiman had arguably the best doubles season for the Musketeers in 2010. The junior led the team in doubles wins with an 18-5 mark that included a 16-6 record with sister, freshman Katie Pleiman. Besides having a great season on the court, the Dayton native also had great success in the classroom. In 2010 she posted a 3.9 GPA while majoring in Accounting, which was good enough for a spot on the Atlantic 10 Academic All-Conference team.
"Our doubles play was another high point of this season," said Toth. "Winning close to 75 percent of our doubles points this season put us position to win almost every match. Christie Pleiman and Kally Alkire really stepped in and helped our cause greatly on the doubles court this season."
Freshman Katie Pleiman had one of the best rookie seasons by a Musketeer netter in years. The Dayton native earned an A-10 Rookie of the Year nod after posting a 15-4 singles record in 2010. She was the first XU freshman to earn the conference Rookie of the Year award since 2002.
"Katie Pleiman was another huge bright spot this year," said Toth. "She had to step in and play at a pretty high level right away competing on the number one court. She performed tremendously, earning the Atlantic 10's Rookie Performer of the Year Award. Katie has a chance to be one of the best, if not the best to ever play at Xavier. It will be fun to be a part of her career for three more years,"
The Xavier women's tennis team will look to continue its success next season.