Seton Hall Athletics
The Seton Hall women’s tennis team is set to open up the spring slate of their schedule at the NJIT Winter Invitational.
The two-day match will be held from Saturday, Jan. 24 to Sunday, Jan. 25 at The Naimoli Family Athletic and Recreational Facility in Newark, N.J. The Pirates will face competition from the host NJIT as well as Army, Fordham, and LIU-Brooklyn.
The tournament will serve as a warm up before the Hall competes in 18 dual matches leading up to April’s Big East tournament.
The Pirates are coming off of their most successful spring season of the last decade. The 2014 squad posted an 11-9 record with a 2-3 mark against league opponents which was good for a six seed in the conference championship.
Seton Hall will be looking to build off of last season’s success, and that starts with junior Hannah Liljekvist. In her first season at the Hall, the Sweden-native took home All-Big East honors last season with 11 dual match victories including six of her last eight matches.
Along with Liljekvist, the Pirates will have the services of junior Julia Keenan who will be looked to as an impactful performer for head coach Greg Wyzykowski. Keenan finished second on the team last season with 13 wins in dual matches.
Madison Shoemaker and Anna Guryanova round out the remaining members of last season’s 11-9 team. The seniors will be donning the blue and white for the last time this season, and will be counted on to make an impact on the 2015 season.
As seems to be the theme in South Orange this year, a crop of freshmen are expected to be an integral part of their team’s success. Katie Kim, Marisa Quevedo and Luize Liva Strike will all be making their spring debut for Seton Hall.
Junior transfer Isabell Klingert is also a newcomer this season after spending her last two at Gonzaga. Klingert along with the trio of Kim, Quevedo and Strike all established their presence during tournament play in the fall.
The doubles pairings have not yet been finalized as half of the team will be appearing in their first dual match season for the Hall. The weekend tournament should provide a preview of what might be seen as the season continues.
The Pirates only dual match of the fall ended in a 5-2 loss at the hands of Fordham who are fellow participants at the weekend’s tournament.
A quality start at the NJIT Winter Invitational will be pivotal for the Hall as they want to enter the dual match portion of their schedule with proficient play. Seton Hall will head to West Point for a two match stint against Army and Binghamton to kick things off.
The home opener will see the Pirates take on their Big East foe the Hoyas of Georgetown at the center court facility in Morristown, N.J.
The NJIT tournament is the first step Seton Hall will take as they move toward their ultimate goal of coming away from the Big East Championships in Indianapolis with a trophy to bring back to South Orange.
Matt Zeigafuse can be reached at email@example.com or on twitter @mattzeigafuse