UCF Women's Tennis Fall Preview

Sept. 20, 2011

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By Chris Jones

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Last season, the Knights earned the No. 5 seed in the Conference USA Championship, which tied for their highest seed since joining the league in 2005-06. The team played against eight ranked teams in 2011, including matches vs. No. 2 Florida, No. 4 Michigan and No. 42 Alabama. The eight ranked matches is the most under head coach Stephanie Nickitas.

UCF has done its part on continuing to build upon last season's success, bringing in talented transfer Cassie Hochwalt from Austin Peay. Hochwalt has played in various USTA events since the age of 14, earning the No. 5 ranking in Arizona coming out of high school.

On top of the new transfer, the team has eight returning players from the 2011 campaign. Headlining the returning players include sophomore Josephine Haraldson and junior Genevieve Lorbergs. Haraldson finished with an overall record of 19-10, including an impressive 4-0 mark in conference play, while Lorbergs ended with an 8-11 mark in dual-match play. Her season was highlighted by a doubles win over No. 47 USF with partner Courtney Griffith.

First up for the Knights is the UCF Quad Tournament. The tournament is held on Sept. 23-25 at the UCF Tennis Complex, featuring such teams as Miami, USF and Stetson.

"We are just looking forward to competing and seeing where we are at," said Nickitas. "It's going to be a highly competitive tournament with very strong teams so it will be a nice gauge to see what we need to continue to work on."

After the three-day tournament, members of the Black and Gold will be flying out to Los Angeles for ITA Prequalifying. In total, the Knights will be competing in five tournaments during the fall season. Other tournaments include the ITA Regional in Gainesville, Fla., USF's tournament in Tampa, Fla., and the Rollins Varner Classic in Winter Park, Fla.

While UCF has been making strides on the court, major announcements were made over the summer recognizing the people behind the recent successes. On Sept. 7, Nickitas was announced as a member of the 2012 University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame Class. Playing from 1996-99, Nickitas posted an overall singles record of 128-22 at UF. Her 85.3 winning percentage is fifth in Florida history. Since joining UCF four years ago, she has led the Knights to an overall record of 49-34.