New Orleans, La. - The Loyola University New Orleans women’s tennis team will begin their first season of competition since the mid 1990’s this Sunday with a match against GCAC rival Xavier University at the Gold Ring Tennis Center on Tulane’s campus. First serve is set for 12 P.M.
Loyola, led by head coach Zubin Engineer, will showcase an extremely young team, with all but one player being an underclassman. The only member with the exception is junior Claire Landry (Lafayette, La.), who joins Loyola after playing two years at NCAA-I Lipscomb University. She played singles and doubles for the Lady Bison and will do so for the Wolfpack, taking the #1 spot in both.
The sophomore class consists of four members in Katherine Beargie (Pensacola, Fla.), Rachel Crump (St. Louis, Mo.), Frances Sweeney (Mexico City, Mexico), and Elizabeth Wallace. Beargie lettered two years in high school at Pensacola Catholic under head coach Geoff Watts. Crump, out of St. Joseph’s Academy, was a member of the tennis team that won four straight Missouri state titles. Beargie and Crump will team up to play #2 doubles for the ‘Pack. Sweeney, who played doubles in the ASOMEX Tournament while in high school, will team up with Landry for #1 doubles. Sweeny is also battling for #2 singles.
Three freshmen; Frances Bonnin (Ponce Puerto, Rico), Hannah Neal (Portland, Ore.), and Maggie Copeland, round out the team for Engineer. Although Bonnin’s high school did not have a tennis team, she played recreationally and is looking to play #4 singles. Neal, who lettered all four years at Sunset High where she played doubles, is also fighting for #2 singles and will team up with Bonnin for #3 doubles.
Xavier comes in as the favorite to win the conference, winning six of the last eight GCAC women’s tennis titles.