2012 Baldwin Wallace Women’s Tennis Team Seeks to Gain Momentum This Spring
By: Andrew Billey '12
BEREA, OHIO – The Ohio Athletic Conference champions four of the past five years, the Baldwin Wallace College women’s tennis team, will seek to gain momentum this spring as it hopes to be in the hunt for another OAC crown.
“I won’t kid you, we lost three four-year varsity players and starters and another who we knew that we would lose after one season,” said Head Coach Jack Bethlenfalvy, who won his 300th career match last spring and has a 314-203 career record and is the winningest women’s tennis coach in the OAC and Ohio collegiate history. “Each of the women we lost last spring to graduation were integral members of our team and constituted our number one, two, five and six singles players. But that’s the bad news.”
To illustrate what the senior trio meant to Bethlenfalvy’s program the past four years, the four playerslost to graduation combined to win 380 total singles and doubles matches.
“The good news is we return three starters, including junior No.3 player Rebecca Mitler (Elyria/Elyria Catholic), senior No.4 player Jenny Greene (Worthington/Columbus Worthington) and sophomore Morgan Baker (Vermilion/Elyria Catholic),” said Bethlenfalvy. “They will be our leaders.”
This fall, Bethlenfalvy played a very tough schedule that resulted in an 0-4 record, but that also is his tradition. That will continue this winter and spring when BW plays traditional rival Oberlin College prior to its annual Spring Break Trip to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina from March 3-10. In Hilton Head, his team again will face strong opposition as well as against perennial NCAA Division III title contender Kenyon College on March 23. BW then opens its OAC season on March 24 at Otterbein University at 1:00 p.m.
“By the time we get to the OAC Tournament, our ladies understand what it takes to win big matches, especially at the OAC Tournament,” said Bethlenfalvy. “The tough schedule makes them better. When you add hard work to a tough schedule and some luck, you can have quite a bit of success and a lot of fun.”
Mittler and Greene have been starters since stepping on campus. Last season, Mittler split her time between second and third singles and compiled a 16-13 record and Greene had a 20-6 slate and was 13-3 at No. 4. This fall, Mittler played at No.1 and Greene at No.2 and each compiled a 1-3 mark against some very stiff competition. In addition, Mittler combined with Baker to form the No.1 doubles tandem and Greene was paired with sophomore Whitney Yoder (Medina) as the No.2 doubles tandem.
To round out the starting lineup in the fall, Baker played No.3, Yoder and junior Danielle Rueger (Ashland) split time at No.4 and No.5 and sophomore Laura Tiegeler (Perry) and freshman Rachel Bertrand (Avon) split time betwen the fifth and sixth singles slots. In addition, Rueger and Bertrand, Rueger and Tiegeler and Bertrand and Tiegeler were combinations that Bethlenfalvy tried at No.3 doubles. Others who may see action this spring include senior Emily Brown (Vermilion), junior Anna Callahan (Williamsville, N.Y./Clarence Central), sophomore Elizabeth Keller (Cincinnati/Walnut Hills) and senior Julie Tuck (Berea).
“We are still a very young and somewhat inexperienced team,” said Bethlenfalvy. “We have to work hard and continue to improve every day. That will be the big key. If we have good work ethic and concentrate on improvement, I am confident that we will get better and be competitive in the OAC. As far as competing for the title this yea, that still remains to be seen.”
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