Lady Bobcats Expect to Climb Rankings in 2009

BANNER ELK, N.C. - The Lees-McRae College Lady Bobcats women's tennis team prepares for the 2009 spring season under head coach Paul Goode. The team was picked to finished fourth in the Conference Carolinas Preseason Coaches Poll.

The Lady Bobcats are lead by last season's Conference Carolinas Freshman of the Year Christine Vanard (Winston-Salem, N.C.). Vanard went 8-2 in the conference at the number one singles spot in 2008.

Seniors Ashley Mayers (Miami, Fla.) and Katie Hawkins (Old Fort, N.C.) will return to the lineup for Goode's team this season. Mayers was 8-2 in conference at the number two singles spot and received All-Conference Carolinas Honorable Mention honors for her efforts.

Gabriela Celi (Casselberry, Fla.) is the top incoming freshman for Goode's squad. Celi will find herself at the one or two spot in the lineup in the 2009 season.

Also expecting to see action in the lineup is Cameron Joyce (Lenoir, N.C.), Lyndsay Pegram (Greensboro, N.C.), Jennifer Hawkins (Moscow Mills, Mo.) and Atalie Teague (Hickory, N.C.).

The Lady Bobcats will face off against a competitive schedule in the 2009 season. They will play three NCAA Division II teams ranked in the top 40 and one NCAA Division I team. Appalachian State represents the lone DI school, while Augusta State is ranked 25th, Erskine is ranked 29th and Tusculum is ranked 31st.

"I expect us to be competitive with the top teams in the conference and would like to see us break into the regional and national rankings this year," Goode said.

The Lady Bobcats open the season February 1st on the road at USC-Aiken at 2 p.m.