CASTLETON, Vt. – Following a season where the Castleton University Women's Tennis team did not appear in the year-end championship final for the first time in the last 11 seasons, the Spartans look to make a return to their prior standing.
Ninth-year head coach Rob Purdy returns to the helm of the Spartan squad. "The 2016 season was a year of adjustment for us. Two of our top players did not return and everyone in the lineup had to move up one or two spots."
Purdy expects to see sophomore Megan Nadler continue to develop after she moved into the number two singles position with all of the lineup changes during 2016. Meanwhile, Kirsten Kruk is now a two-year veteran and will be relied on to help any newcomers.
"Credit to everyone. They all stepped up and did not complain," said Purdy. "That playing experience may prove to be important during the upcoming season."
Castleton comes into 2017 with a very challenging slate of matches. One particular contest that stands out is against the five-time defending champion Colby-Sawyer College on Sept. 13.
In the recent North Atlantic Conference Preseason Poll, the Spartans placed fourth. Castleton tallied 40 points, which was just three behind its opening-day opponent, Johnson State College. The Spartans will welcome the the Badger at 4 p.m. on Friday at the Castleton Tennis Courts.
"I always like to set a goal of 10 wins, despite the daunting schedule," Purdy stated. "I want my teams to be at their best at the end of the season and that's going to be a real challenge this year."
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