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2004 CUNYAC / Hospital For Special Surgery Women's Tennis Preview

Hunter Takes Aim at Fifth Straight Title

The 2004 season should be extremely competitive and CUNYAC squads will be looking to dethrone four-time defending champion Hunter, who have won 27 consecutive conference dual matches.  The format of the championship has changed this season as tournament will no longer be played on an individual flight basis.  Teams will now compete against other teams to decide a champion.  The semifinals and finals will be played at the National Tennis Center on Saturday, October 23.

Florin Giuglescu, the 2004 CUNYAC Men's Tennis Coach of the Year, returns his top two women's players from last season and one of his strongest recruiting classes ever at Baruch. Giuglescu brought in several recruits talented enough to immediately compete for the # 1 singles spot. Elena Dadadina is a highly prized player from Kingsborough C.C., who will join forces with veterans such as Janna Derjavina and Sara Ayoub in competing for the top singles spot. Derjavina won six matches last season and Ayoub reached the CUNYAC semifinals in the # 2 singles competition. Kateryna Pylypyshyna, Mariya Krivorotova, Ipek Yakut, and Allison Garifullina round out a mostly international roster that is expected to improve on its three CUNYAC wins from 2003.

The Bridges return four of their top six players from a year ago, including #1 flight CUNYAC champion Stella Rubina.  Stella, now a junior, has only lost only one singles match in her two year career, and that came as a freshman in the #1 flight championship round at the CUNYAC championships.  First-year head coach Darlene Dillard brings a great work ethic to this budding team, and hopes to make an impact in the conference standings.  Returnees Dana Caputo, Erika Hansen and Elizabeth Mikhly are all veteran players who should benefit from coach Dillard's intense style and could have career seasons.  Freshmen Freida Tawll, Alina Binder and Benelita Elie have all looked impressive in practice and should be able to step into the team's lineup and be productive.

The CCNY Women’s Tennis team has two returning players, seniors Joanne Szczygiel and Dolly Reyes.  Szczygiel will once again offer the Lady Beavers her great ability and experience in the game. But this year’s squad will also be anchored around two new players - Sharon Fader a transfer from SUNY Binghamton and Shin-Hu Lin.  They will be playing first and second singles.  “The balance of our roster will be made up of inexperienced players who came out for tryouts,” stated Head Coach Esu Ma’at.

City Tech
New York City College of Technology will have a revamped women’s tennis team under the direction of new coach Richard Yoon, a former standout at CUNYAC’s John Jay College in the mid 1990’s. The Yellow Jackets return only junior Jelena Brigida (Tallin, Estonia) and sophomore Juile St. Jean (Brooklyn, NY), who have experience, but the duo played the top two spots in the lineup in 2003. Last year City Tech had an 0-7 record overall and CUNY Athletic Conference record. Newcomers to the downtown Brooklyn school are freshman Jasmina Dukanovic (Brooklyn, NY), Evelyn Revenel (Brooklyn, NY), Johanna Rolondo (Brooklyn, NY) and Gena Lewis (East Elmhurst, NY). “I’m excited to have this opportunity,” said Yoon. “We have an enthusiastic young group and we’re looking forward to a successful season.”

John Jay
The John Jay College women’s team finished the 2003 season with a record of 6-1 in the conference and 8-4 overall. The team finished 2nd in the CUNYAC Championships. Returning key players include Liesel Ann Amow, Michelle Gandhi, Jessica Bardarson, and Danielle Nitafan.  Newcomers include Afiya Lahens, Sunny Sikiric, Meri Datiashvili, and Daisy Rivera. Amow, a senior from Brooklyn, NY, was the 2003 #1 flight doubles finalist in the CUNYAC Championships.

During the past four years, Hunter (8-6, 7-0 CUNYAC) has won four consecutive CUNYAC Tournament titles and 27 dual meets in a row against conference competition. The Hawks try for a fifth straight title fall. Leading the team again will be junior Tracy Hansel (first singles) and senior Rachel Swygert (second singles), who were CUNYAC semifinalists both individually and as a first doubles team last year. Also back is junior Tamara Russell, who swept conference opponents en route to the fourth singles title, and senior Shirley Vargas, the fifth singles runner-up and third doubles co-champion. Sixth-year head coach Jocelyn Cruz has bolstered the Hawks by adding junior transfer Hannah Taylor-Noren (San Francisco State) and freshmen Antigone Tzakis (Queens, NY / St. John's Prep), Emily Crabbs (Binghamton, NY / Chenango Valley), and Kristina Castro (Queens, NY / Newtown).

The team will look to a former Lightning star, Frank Rivera, to take the program in a new direction. The squad finished the 2003 season with a 1-10 record and is led by junior Micaela Tabing. Tabing will play in the #1 singles slot for Lehman, and will look to improve on her strong play from last season. The team will also receive a boost from sophomores Christa Grant and Christina Peralta.

Staten Island
The Dolphins are coming off a 3-9 season and a 3-4 CUNY campaign and will rely on several newcomers to help the program in 2004. The Dolphins return just one player from last season in sophomore Richie May Yuclino (Tottenville/Staten Island, NY). Yuclino went 4-6 last season in singles and 3-6 in doubles. First year head coach Bill Miller will take over the reigns for CSI and looks to build up his young squad over this season.

2004 Results: Oct.5  Sept.28  Sept.21  Preview

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