GOSHEN, Ind. – Under fourth-year head coach Doug Gossman, the Goshen College women's tennis team opens its 2012-13 season by hosting Indiana Wesleyan University on Tuesday.
An unexperienced roster will be tested early with with the top two teams in the Crossroads League from 2011 (IWU and Marian) both in town during the opening week of play. Goshen has just two players on the roster with more than one year of collegiate playing experience.
The Maple Leafs do, however, return their top player from last season in sophomore Anika Baumgartner (Goshen, Ind.). Placed immediately into the top singles and doubles spot as a freshman in 2011, Baumgartner went 5-7 in singles, picking up three more victories in doubles action.
"Anika comes into this season knowing what to expect after playing No. 1 all last year," Gossman explained. "Her forehand is much improved and she played a lot of tennis this summer which should pay off. She was in just about every match last year so she knows how to compete and is a good leader for us."
The lone four-year senior on the roster is Lauren Stoltzfus (Lancaster, Pa.). In 12 teams matches last season, she racked up nine total wins in the middle of the Goshen lineup.
Other veterans include juniors Nikita Zook (Kidron, Ohio) and Maddie Ruth (Halryesville, Pa.) and sophomore Corine Alvarez (Goshen, Ind.). Zook had a 3-2 singles mark in 2010 and returns after a year off, while Alvarez was 4-6 last year and Ruth 2-5.
Joining them are seniors Marcelle Al-Zoughbi (South Bend, Ind.) and Rebekah Steiner (Geneva, Ind.) and freshmen Mikayla Adamski (Burr Oak, Mich.) and Maria Thomas (Goshen, Ind.) who are all looking for their first varsity experience.
"They are a good group of girls who listen well and have been working hard to improve," Gossman added. "Our conference is very strong, especially at the top of the lineup, so it will be tough, but we are looking forward to being competitive."
Four of the Maple Leafs first five matches are on their home courts. They are currently scheduled for just three road contests all season.