ODU Commences 2017 Season Saturday at Home Against Temple (10AM)
By ODU Athletics
NORFOLK, Va. – The Old Dominion University women’s tennis team commences the 2017 season this Saturday, Jan. 14 at the Folkes-Stevens Tennis Center versus Temple at 10:00 a.m. EST.
ODU head coach Dom Manilla returns six players from last year’s season, with one newcomer added to the mix.
ODU in the Rankings
Speaking of the newcomer, Old Dominion true freshman Holly Hutchinson enters the season nationally ranked No. 97 in the latest ITA rankings.
Manilla has three ladies ranked in the ITA Atlantic Region Singles Rankings:
-Borislava Botusharova – No. 6
-Holly Hutchinson – No. 11
-Nataliia Vlasova – No. 18
For a more in-depth look at the latest ITA Rankings, please CLICK HERE.
ODU Travelled to Sunny Puerto Rico
In October, the Old Dominion women’s tennis team took a trip to Palmas del Mar for the Puerto Rico Challenge, highlighted by Hutchinson downing the No. 12 ranked player in the country, Vanderbilt’s Sydney Campbell (6-0, 3-0). Hutchinson and teammate Nataliia Vlasova also defeated the No. 17 ranked doubles tandem in the nation, Sydney Campbell and Emily Smith via an 8-6 score.
The beautiful Folkes-Stevens Tennis Center played host to the 2016 ITA Atlantic Region Championships, where ODU’s Borislava Botusharova (Pazardzhik, Bulgaria) won her first three matches to advance to the Quarterfinals. Botusharova punched her ticket to the Quarterfinals after taking down Virginia’s top player, Rosie Johanson, in the Round of 16.
Botusharova had quite an impressive run in the Singles Main Draw, starting with a 6-0, 6-1 straight set victory over Pittsburgh’s Lolade Ogungbesan in the Round of 64.
Next, Botusharova defeated Brooke Pilkington (Virginia Beach, Va.) of Delaware in straight sets (6-0, 7-6) in the Round of 32, setting up a showdown with Virginia’s top player, Rosie Johanson (Abbotsford, British Columbia). After dropping the first set, Botusharova powered back to win sets two (7-6) and three (6-3), placing her in the Quarterfinals. Johanson was the No. 8 ranked Newcomer/Freshmen according to the ITA Rankings. Botusharova’s run ended, when Virginia Tech’s Natalie Novotna won 6-4, 6-3 in the Quarterfinals.
Manilla announced an impressive schedule, which includes 14 home matches, six showdowns against in-state rivals, six away matches and two C-USA matchups. On Sat., Feb. 18 at 5:00 p.m., ODU will welcome the No. 23 Virginia Cavaliers to the Folkes-Stevens Tennis Center.
“Our tough road campaigns the past two years have earned us a great home schedule for this spring,” said Manilla. “Having 14 home matches against quality competition really enhances the student-athlete experience and provides us with tremendous opportunity to make some noise at a high level. Although the schedule has set a new standard for the program, this squad is hungry and eager to uphold the long standing winning tradition of ODU Tennis.”
Old Dominion will take on a total of six schools from the state of Virginia, four of which will be at home, which consists of Richmond (Feb. 10), UVA (Feb. 18), VCU (April 1) and James Madison (April 16). The Lady Tennis Monarchs will travel to Blacksburg to take on Virginia Tech on Feb. 25 and will go to Williamsburg to square-off against William & Mary on April 8.
Manilla and the Lady Monarchs are also excited to host Appalachian State (Feb. 5), East Carolina (Feb. 16), UPENN (Feb. 19), Western Michigan (March 6), Iowa (March 13), Oklahoma (March 14), Marshall (March 19), Delaware (March 29) and South Alabama (April 2).
ODU will take travel to Berkeley, Cali. for the ITA Kickoff, where they will take on Missouri on Jan. 29, before drawing either Cal or Xavier on Jan. 30.
Old Dominion will take on Baylor in Waco, Texas March 2, before traveling to Denton to battle C-USA foe North Texas on March 3.
The 2017 Conference USA Tournament will actually be held in Denton, Texas on April 20-24.
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