MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. - The No. 29 Georgia College & State University women's tennis team takes to the court this weekend, and Bobcat fans can use this article as an inside look to the spring 2010 version of one of the most decorated programs in school history.
Now entering his 10th season at the helm of Georgia College tennis, head coach Steve Barsby has seen some of the finest years in GCSU women's tennis, amassing a 147-74 record. The 2009 version made an NCAA Tournament appearance for the 15th straight season.
The 2010 group will rely on experience, but with a six-player roster, will need key contributions from three freshman for continued success.
"We're going to need every player to compete to their fullest," said Barsby. "We're going to fight and compete to find five wins someplace in the lineup, they'll come from different spots each match."
Diane Danna (Paris, France) returns for her third season, and will take over the top spot. "Diane has never looked better at this point in the year," said Barsby. She went 11-8 a season ago at second singles, and will be a solid competitor in the always-tough Peach Belt Conference (PBC).
Now in her third season in a Bobcat uniform, Bertille Lion (Lyon, France) will also have an increased role, competing for a middle-order spot. She was 9-8 in singles bouts in 2009, but has made great strides in her game and her conditioning efforts since arriving on the Georgia College campus.
Adriana Acuna (Peachtree City, Ga.) joined the squad for the spring last year. Acuna battled to a 2-14 mark, and will again fight for those all-important team points at the bottom portion of the order.
The rookie class features three individuals that will factor heavily in the won-loss record for Georgia College in 2010.
Kayla Barksdale (Martinez, Ga.) will compete in the middle-to-high portion of the order, and has the potential to win plenty of games for Georgia College. An All-Region performer at Lakeside High, Barksdale has the potential to be one of the best Georgia-born players in program history, according to Barsby.
Linda Mosa (Stockholm, Sweden) is a talented competitor focused on an impact in the middle to bottom portion of the lineup. After a short fall season, Mosa will be given plenty of chances to play up to her potential in the spring.
A region and state champion in high school at St. Pius X, Michelle Lingner (Dunwoody, Ga.) had a strong fall season, nabbing a ‘C' Flight singles and ‘B' doubles title at the annual GCSU Windstream Women's Fall Championships. Lingner has the skill set to pick up wins in the bottom third of the order.
The doubles pairings are very much up for grabs, with Lingner and Barksdale teaming for a fall tournament title, and Danna and Lion having the experience, teaming together in 2009.
The Bobcats take to the courts for the first time at Clark Atlanta College Sunday, Feb. 7 at 1 p.m. The home opener for Georgia College is Thursday, Feb. 11, taking on No. 4 Valdosta State University at 2 p.m.
The GCSU Department of Athletics, winners of the 2008-09 PBC Commissioner's Cup, sponsors 10 varsity athletic programs at the NCAA Division II level. As a Division II program, GCSU prides itself on balancing the life of the student-athlete, evidenced by the Bobcats' multiple appearances in post-season competition as well as documented academic success and community-service involvement. Sign up at Twitter.com username GCSUSID for up-to-the-minute reports, and visit www.GCSUBobcats.com to nominate your favorite former Bobcats and Colonials to the GCSU Athletics Hall of Fame.