After taking steps forward and creating momentum last season, the 2013 version of the Caltech women's tennis team is set to ramp it up to the next level.
The squad returns all but one player from last year's team that posted five team wins and broke through in the win column in a SCIAC contest.
"Last season was good but we can do even better this season," head coach Mandy Gamble said. "The team worked hard in the off season and begins this well prepared and focused on having a successful year."
The top returning players will be Rebekah Kitto and Stephanie Kwan. Since arriving on campus during the 2011 season, Kitto has played at the No. 1 singles slot in every team match she has participated in. A two-time all-conference selection the junior went 13-1 last season in singles and was an alternate selection for the NCAA National Championships.
Kwan is another upperclassman who has seen her fair share of high level tennis. Last season she went 7-7 in dual matches while playing either No. 2 or 3 singles. As one of the captains, the senior will be looked upon to provided valuable leadership and contribute victories to the team's winning cause.
"Rebekah and Stephanie, the team co-captains, played a key role in setting an example of dedication and are committed to improving their game," Gamble said.
A key first-year to keep an eye on is Monica Li. She comes to Caltech after claiming two state singles titles at Fairview High School in New Hampshire. After playing soccer in the fall she is fully committed to being one of the top, if not the top player, on the team in 2013.
A final trio of returner who contributed a great deal to the squad last season will, once again, be counted on the provide wins in tight matches. Juniors Jessica Yu and Jessica Yeung played in a variety of singles positions last season. Yu has played in 28, of a possible 33, matches in her two seasons with the squad while Yeung has participated in 26.
Sophomore Michelle Lee played at the No. 4 and 5 single positions last season. During her first-year on campus she produced four wins and has the potential to provide even more as she continues to adapt the college game.
Gamble said, "Michelle has been working very hard in practice and it will pay off in matches."
Michelle Tang stepped into the varsity line-up on six occasions last year and will be called upon, once again, to provide stability when they opportunities arise. Alison Parisian, the final senior on squad, has played mostly in a reserve role during her tenure at Caltech but could see more time in the varsity line-up this year.
Last season the Beavers played five teams that were ranked in the nation. The 2013 slate, once again, features some of the best team in the country. The season begins on Feb. 2 with Hope International. Caltech begins conference play on March 1 against Cal Lutheran.