Date Posted:09/11/2002,  8:00AM

2002 Tennis Preview

The Bowdoin College tennis teams had one of their most successful seasons ever in 2001-2002, as both the women?s and men?s team qualified for the NCAA Championships. With the women losing only two members and the men returning everyone in their lineup, the future is extremely exciting for one of the school?s premier programs.

The women?s team finished 10-8 last year and fell in the first round of the NCAA?s versus Trinity College. This season, the team return?s its top three players and adds some youth for what should be another run at Nationals.

?The women?s team has always had potential,? according to head coach Jane Paterson. ?But this is really our make-or-break year.?

Three extremely talented juniors will likely lead the rotation this year. Number one player, junior Alexis Bawden (Fairfield, Calif.) returns in the top spot for her third season, while classmate Paulette Hricko (Dover, Mass.) will likely see time in the second spot. Betsy Hayes (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) will round out the top three players in the rotation. The competition for the remaining spots in the squad will consist of junior Sanida Kikic (Dallas, Texas), sophomore Lauren Gray (Orono, Minn.), sophomore Julie Shaver (Longlake, Minn.), senior Arlyn Davich (Randolph, N.J.) and first-year Kristina Sisk (Denver, Colo.). Also fighting for time in the rotation to start the season will be senior Jenna Goldman (Philadelphia, Pa.), sophomores Caitlin Lombardi (Manchester, Mass.) and Tara Sheehan (Lutz, Fla.), as well as first-year Kara Perriello (Linnfield, Mass.).

?Right now, starting the season, we?re really battling some injuries,? says Paterson. ?Assuming that we can be healthy, we can be a much stronger team thanks to our experience and the outstanding leadership from our captains [Jenna Goldman and Arlyn Davich].?

Although the women?s team plays the majority of their dual matches in the fall, the men play primarily an individual tournament schedule in the fall, saving their full schedule for the spring. The men return everyone from last year?s team, which was arguably the best in school history. The challenge for the Polar Bears in 2002 will be to improve on their school-record 17 wins and appearance in the NCAA Quartefinals. It is a tall task, but a feasible one considering the talent that returns to Brunswick this fall.

?Well, everybody?s back,? says Paterson. ?We have a lot more experience than ever before, and it?s an extremely motivated team and that?s exciting.?

The top spots will be filled by senior All-Americans Colin Joyner (Great Falls, Mont.) and August Felker (St. Louis, Mo.), as well as talented sophomore McAfee Burke (St. Louis, Mo.). Sophomore Pat Keneally (Hingham, Mass.), and senior Nick McLean (La Paz, Bolivia) will also play roles in the rotation. Fighting for time in the lineup will be juniors John Posey (Sharon, Conn.) and Pat Soong (Hillsborough, Calif.), as well as sophomore Barret Lawson (Concord, Mass.). Two returning players will be away in the fall, as sophomore Bucky Jencks (Honolulu, Hawaii) will be playing soccer and junior John Carolan (Eugene, Ore.) will be studying abroad.

?We [the men?s team] have a much tougher schedule this season,? according to Paterson. ?We?re obviously trying to improve our finish of last season, and given the level of experience and ability we have, we hopefully can achieve that goal.?