SMITHFIELD, R.I. – The Bryant University women's tennis team opens its spring season this weekend with matches against Boston University and St. Bonaventure.
Bryant will travel to Boston to take on the Terriers Saturday before hosting the Bonnies on Sunday at Fore Court in Cumberland. Sunday's match will begin at 11:30 a.m. (Click here for directions to Fore Court).
The Bulldogs enter the spring season with a 2-0 record and a veteran lineup that is poised to get the Black and Gold back to the Northeast Conference championship round in April. Bryant returned every single player from last year's squad that posted a 9-11 record and advanced to the semi-finals at the NEC Championships.
That group is headlined by two-time All-NEC selection Arianna Oropeza (Weston, Fla.). The junior has won 15 matches in each of her first two seasons and is looking to become just the third Bulldog at the DI level to win double-digit matches in three separate seasons. Oropeza is 8-3 against NEC foes in her two years.
Bryant will also be buoyed by the senior duo of Aleksi Gottlieb (Plantation, Fla.) and Megan Tan (Calgary, Alberta). The duo combined to win 26 singles matches a season ago and went a perfect 5-0 against NEC competition as doubles partners. Tan enjoyed an outstanding fall season, going 7-3.
The Black and Gold also welcomes back a trio of sophomores that earned All-Rookie honors last spring. Ada Boru (Istanbul, Turkey) was an All-NEC First Team selection in singles and doubles after posting eight wins and a 3-1 mark against league foes at the No. 1 spot. She teamed up with classmate Sarah Hickey (Toronto, Ont.) to post a 13-2 record at No. 1 doubles play during the year. They won both of their doubles matches in last year's NEC Tournament.
Leanne Kendall (Lakeville, Mass.) is the third sophomore and has already posted 18 wins in her short time at Bryant. She won 12 matches as a freshman and then posted a 6-2 mark this fall. Kendall also shined in doubles play with freshman Manuela Gomez Estrada (Guayquil, Ecuador), going 8-1 during the fall.
Bryant's schedule will be a favorable one early as it plays five of its first eight matches at either Fore Court or Rally Point. The Bulldogs will host Fairleigh Dickinson in an NEC semifinal rematch on Feb. 22 and defending league champ Long Island on Feb. 29.