JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (May 5, 2004) - The East Tennessee State women's tennis team finish their season tied for fourth after being slated to finish seventh in the SoCon preseason coaches' poll.
In his third season as head coach of the women's team, Steve Brooks has seen the team make huge strides from finishing 1-21 in his first year and posting a 12-17 record in the 2002-03 season.
Overall, the Bucs had a positive season this year finishing with a 17-13 overall and 6-4 in the conference. Their wins included a first ever win over SoCon opponent College of Charleston in a close 4-3 match at home, and a thrilling 4-1 victory over No. 65 Virginia Tech on the road.
"We've come a long way in these past three seasons," commented Brooks. "I'll miss the seniors, but recruiting is going well and I look forward to recruiting local standouts in the future. Next season we will look to build upon the success of the previous seasons to become even stronger."
The team also saw success individually as many of the young ladies etched their names in the ETSU record book.
Senior Jessica Irey (Clewiston, Fla.) finished the season with a 20-13 record in singles playing primarily in the No. 4 slot. She finishes her career with 72 total wins, which puts her second on the all-time list. She also had success in doubles and recorded 24 wins with teammate Gemma Halim (Jakarta, Indonesia). The 24 wins rank Irey third on the single season doubles wins list.
Halim recorded one more win than Irey in doubles and ranks second with the 25 wins. Halim also recorded 23 wins in singles during the season for fifth place on the singles season wins list.
Sophomore Sylwia Ziolkowska (Warsaw, Poland) finished the season recording a 19-17 singles record playing at No. 2. Ziolkowska fought hard during the season with ten of her 17 singles losses in the season going to split sets. In doubles, she won 20 matches in the season with ETSU teammates Mariya Ilyina (Kyiv, Ukraine) and Aimee Villavicencio (Lexington, Ky.). Her 20 wins rank her 13 on the season doubles wins list.
In her first season, Ilyina quickly made a name for herself by compiling a 28-10 singles record in the season and clinching the title for most single season singles wins. She also carved a spot for herself in doubles history with her 22 wins to put her ranked in the ninth slot.
Other notable individual accomplishments for the season include senior Tatiana Arriaran's 13 singles wins and senior Courtney McInnis' (Waterboro, Maine) 17 doubles wins.
The women's tennis team also made academic strides with four student-athletes being named to the Buccaneer Honor Roll Jewel Aldea (Charleston, S.C.), Arriaran, Halim, and McInnis. In addition, Aldea and Arriaran were also named to the dean's list.
The Buccaneers now look ahead in anticipation for the start of the 2004-05 season and the continuation of rewriting the ETSU record books.