With all eight starters returning from last year’s NCAA Tournament round of 16 team, the Tribe opened the season with high expectations and a goal to win the NCAA title. The College finished no. 15 in the polls a year ago and claimed its 19th CAA championship in the 23-year history of the conference.
p. Currently, the Tribe owns an 11-8 record and no. 25 national ranking after winning its last three matches over no. 18 Fresno State University, no. 62 Marshall University and the University of Pennsylvania.
p. “We finished last year in the top 15 in the nation with the bulk of the team being freshmen,” Head Coach Kevin Epley said. “With the exact line-up returning, we wanted to be about top five or top 10 this year.”
p. Senior Megan Moulton-Levy once again leads the Tribe in both singles and doubles play. Moulton-Levy earned ITA All-American honors in both disciplines last year. Paired with junior partner and fellow reigning ITA doubles All-American Katarina Zoricic, the duo fared well against its opponents, compiling a record of 22-7 along with the no. 11 doubles ranking in the nation.
p. The doubles tandem of Moulton-Levy and Zoricic, which held the no. 1 ranking for much of last year, finished as the runner-up at the 2007 NCAA Tournament after winning the first set 6-1. Epley said the pair had a mental “meltdown” in the final sets and have yet to gain back its old confidence. Epley believes that if Moulton-Levy and Zoricic can get their swagger back, they will be the tandem to beat and fear at the 2008 NCAA Tournament.
The College currently has four ranked singles players, with Moulton-Levy leading the pack at no. 10. Junior Klaudyna Kasztelaniec, Zoricic and sophomore Ragini Acharaya rank 113th, 121st and 122nd respectively, which places half of the 8-woman roster in the top 125 in the country.
p. According to Epley, a season-ending injury to sophomore Magdalena Bresson forced the Tribe to readjust its immediate goals and now strive for a spot in the final eight of this year’s NCAA Tournament.
p. The College entered this season with a difficult road ahead and a schedule that pitted the Tribe against five top-10 teams.
Moulton-Levy is one singles victory shy of tying three of the College’s all-time greats for third place on the career victories list. The All-American already holds the College’s doubles record with 124 triumphs — 85 of those alongside Zoricic.
p. Moulton-Levy will go for the record when the College returns to the courts Saturday to host Virginia Commonwealth University.