Freshman Julie Kirkland named Team MVP.
April 28, 2010
Dayton, OH –
The Dayton Flyers’ women’s tennis team concluded the 2010 spring campaign on Tuesday evening after returning from the Atlantic 10 Conference Championship Tournament.
Tenth-seeded UD faced both Saint Louis and Rhode Island while at the tournament, which took place in St. Louis at the Dwight Davis Tennis Center. After falling to No. 7 Saint Louis, 4-0, Dayton moved into the consolation bracket where they met eighth-seeded Rhode Island for the first time of the year.
Despite a number of close sets, including an impressive win at No. 3 singles by Laina Grote, who battled back to overcome the Ram’s Tristany Leikem (6-3, 4-6, 10-4), the Flyers fell, 4-2. This was the fourteenth match of the season in which Dayton earned the doubles point. Wins by Julie Kirkland and Loni Dickerhoof at No. 1 (9-7) as well as junior duo Laina Grote and Kelly O’Connell at No. 2 (9-7) contributed to the team’s doubles point.
At the number two position, Grote and O’Connell owned a 12-7 record, tallying the second most wins as a pair. They follow close behind Kirkland and Dickerhoof, who have represented UD at the No. 1 spot throughout the majority of the season and possess a 13-6 record.
With the loss, Dayton closed-out the year 9-13, 1-3 in conference play.
Overall, UD went 7-4 on their home courts, defeating Kennesaw State, Lipscomb, Robert Morris, Oakland, St. Bonaventure, Wittenberg and Denison.
Both Kirkland and Grote led the team with singles wins, recording 10 and 11, respectively. They were also among the winningest players on the doubles court. Laina Grote finished with 12 wins, while her freshman teammate earned a team-high 14. As a whole, the squad documented a 0.569 winning percentage in doubles play. Loni Dickerhoof contributed 13 wins and Kelly O’Connell added another 14 of her own.
Senior Captain Molly Mathews and her teammates were honored on Tuesday evening at the team’s post-season banquet. In addition to bidding farewell to the club’s lone graduate, Coach Eric Mahone distributed a number of team awards.
Mathews, who transferred to UD after one year at Niagara University, was a key reserve for the Flyers. She competed at both No. 5 and No. 6 singles, tallying a 6-5 record, and also appeared at No. 2 and No. 3 doubles. With a partner, Mathews went 5-7. An Accounting and Management Information Systems major, she will graduate this Sunday in the top ten percent of her class.
Recognized at the banquet was Julie Kirkland, named Team MVP, Laina Grote, named Most Improved Player of 2010, and Loni Dickerhoof, who received the Coach’s Award.
“I have been extremely lucky to coach such a talented and driven group of girls this year. They worked hard every day and pushed each other to continue to get better. We saw a lot of improvement from everyone, especially as the season wore on,” reflected Mahone. “We headed into the tournament with a three-game winning streak…that’s exactly where we want to be. These girls have truly helped us take the first step in building a strong tennis program here at UD.”