The women’s tennis team accomplished its goals of defending the AMC championship and returning to the NAIA National Tournament. This year, the Cavaliers have a new set of goals as Walsh continues its membership process of joining the NCAA as a Division II member. Walsh will play in the AMC one final season, but are ineligible for post-season play. The Cavs have also accepted an invitation to join the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC), which means new opponents will line the schedules for years to come.
The Cavaliers are ready to take on this task and return a fair share of experienced players to lead the charge and aid them with leadership despite losing four players from last year’s squad. The number of players returning total seven, including All-AMC selections Shellie Webster (Jr., Lexington, OH/HS) and Kayla Shaheen (So., Canton, OH/Central Catholic).
Webster will be called upon to take the first singles position after playing the majority of her career in that role. Last year, she played every match there and went 9-10 overall and 5-0 in conference play on the year. Webster was the only player on the team to start and win every match against conference opponents.
Shaheen hopes to reprise her role at second singles from a year ago. Last year she went 7-12 overall, 7-10 at second singles, and 3-2 in conference play. Shaheen will likely battle Alisha Angle (Fr., Lexington, OH/HS), a newcomer to the squad who is expected to make an impact immediately for the right to play second singles for Cavs. Angle was a member of two state championship squads during her prep career.
Allison St. George (Jr., Youngstown, OH/Cardinal Mooney) looks to battle for third or fourth singles after going 9-9 overall and 3-1 in conference a year ago. She went 4-3 at third singles a year ago, and was responsible for the Cavs’ only point at the national tournament with a win in fifth singles.
Boni Byelene (So., North Canton, OH/Hoover) is another letter winner that returns after seeing a lot of playing time a year ago. In 2011, she went 6-9 overall with an unscathed 3-0 mark in conference action. She will compete for time at fifth singles. Jaclyn DiDomenico (So., Youngstown, OH/Cardinal Mooney) rounds out the returning players that saw a majority of playing time a year ago and will be the front competitor for the final singles spot. DiDomenico went 5-6 overall with a 2-1 AMC mark last year.
Also battling for the last couple of spots will be Kara Papatheodorou (Sr., North Canton, OH/St. Thomas Aquinas), Rebeka Beresh (Sr., North Canton, OH/St. Thomas Aquinas), and Abigail Svetlak (Fr., Canton, OH/Central Catholic). Both Papatheodorou and Beresh will be looked upon to provide senior leadership. Svetlak is new to the squad and was a three-sport star in high school.
The pairings for doubles will change somewhat throughout the season, but the familiar duo of Webster and Shaheen are ready to team up again at first doubles. The pair went 9-9 last year and 3-1 in conference action. Their experience and leadership will aid the Cavs in doubles action. St. George should once again be half of the second doubles team. She went 8-11 last season with four different teammates. The other half of the second doubles team is expected to be Angle. Byelene and DiDomenico look to pair together for the third doubles team. They paired together once last year and defeated rival Malone in that outing. Papatheodorou and Svetlak are also expected to see doubles action.