The Gustavus women’s tennis team has high expectations for the 2010 season as five key members of the 2009 MIAC Championship team return including seniors Sierra Krebsbach (North Oaks, Minn.) and Ali O’Neal (Stevens Point, Wis.), juniors Samantha Frank (Mahtomedi, Minn.) and Marianne Barau (Glencoe, Minn.), and sophomore Megan Gaard (Edina, Minn.). All five earned All-Conference honors in 2009 while helping the Gusties post a 23-10 record overall, 10-0 in the MIAC, including a fifth place finish at the NCAA Championships.
Krebsbach will likely maintain her #1 singles position as she posted a 15-10 record in that spot last year. Krebsbach has compiled a career record of 57-32 in singles and 79-26 in doubles. She is a three-time All-Conference honoree and a two-time All-America selection.
Although Coach Carlson in not sure on who will fill each slot in the singles line-up this year, Gaard (who played #2 last year), O’Neal (who played #3), Frank (who played #4) and Barau (who played #5) are all expected to fill in behind Krebsbach.
Gaard recorded an impressive first season as she posted a record of 16-17 in singles play and 24-10 in doubles. Barau gained valuable experience as a sophomore compiling 56 total victories including a mark of 29-6 in singles and 27-9 in doubles.
Ali O’Neal and Samantha Frank will also play key roles in both the singles and doubles line-ups. O’Neal has posted a career record of 32-14 in singles play and 43-9 in doubles. Frank, who struggled with consistency last season at the #4 position, really stepped up this past fall as she finished second in singles play at the ITA Midwest Regional and paired with Krebsbach to win the doubles title.
In doubles play, Gustavus will rely on the combination of Frank and Krebsbach to lead the way. The duo won the ITA Midwest Region title last September and went on to finish eighth at the ITA Small College Championships. Megan Gaard and Ali O’Neal, who finished second at the ITA Midwest Regional to Krebsbach and Frank, will play in the #2 position, while the #3 doubles team will likely be Barau and Katie Allen (FY, Pella, Iowa).
With a veteran line-up and solid team depth, Carlson feels this team has a legitimate chance to make another run at the conference championship, while also qualifying for the NCAA Championships.