Sept. 13, 2012
CULLOWHEE, N.C. -
The Western Carolina tennis team begins fall play this weekend at the Elon Fall Tennis Invitational, beginning this Friday with singles play starting at 11 a.m. The invitational features Southern Conference rivals Elon and UNC Greensboro and also regional foes Virginia Tech, North Carolina Central, North Carolina A&T, USC Upstate and Campbell. The tournament will conclude on Sunday.
"We've been practicing hard and we're really excited for our first tournament of the fall," said head coach Chris Wollett who begins his third season at the helm. "Elon's going to show us where we stand as a team. We have six new freshmen coming in and the girls are excited to get out and compete."
This season the Western Carolina roster looks very different than the one a season ago with WCU featuring six freshmen - Shannon Bettiol, Stacia Kissell, Erin Maguire, Danielle McGee, Nicole Nielly and Sara Ruiz Pajares - and junior Karen Jiménez.
Recaps for the weekend's events can be found at CatamountSports.com.
Elon Fall Tournament - Friday Schedule:
Stacia Kissell (WCU) vs. Karolina Chernaya (Campbell) - 11 a.m. - A1 Singles Flight
Sara Ruiz (WCU) vs. Jordan Johnston (Elon) - 1:15 p.m. - A1 Singles Flight
Karen Jiménez (WCU) vs. Allison Beeler (USC Upstate) - 11:00 a.m. - A2 Singles Flight
Nicole Nielly (WCU) vs. Jaime Grinberg (UNCG) - 11:30 a.m. - B1 Singles Flight
Shannon Bettiol (WCU) vs. Briana Berne (Elon) - 1:30 p.m. - B1 Singles Flight
Erin Maguire (WCU) vs. Molly Muscgrave (Meredith) - 12:30 p.m. - B2 Singles Flight
Ruiz/Kissell (WCU) vs. Johnston/Jansaker (Elon) - 2:45 p.m. - A1 Doubles Flight
Nietty/Bettiol (WCU) vs. Anane/Burton (UNCG) - 3:15 p.m. - B1 Doubles Flight
Jiménez/Maguire (WCU) vs. Burrage/Reid (NC A&T) - 2 p.m. - B2 Doubles Flight
Shannon Bettiol will come to Cullowhee from North Gwinnett High School in Suwanee, Ga. Bettiol has consistently been ranked in the top 50 in the Southeast region. At North Gwinnett, Bettiol has gone 42-8 over her high school career as she enters her senior season. She was also chosen All-County First Team in singles for the 2011 season by the Gwinnett Daily Post.
Stacia Kissell was a four-time section 1-AAA doubles champion and two-time 1-AAA singles champion from Latrobe, Pa. Kissell finished undefeated in conference matches during her senior season. She has two sisters who have played collegiate tennis with sister Michaela having played at the University of Miami and Marshall while sister Joelle currently plays for the Wolfpack of North Carolina State.
Erin Maguire is a former top-20 player from the state of Georgia. She was a member of the Starr's Mill (Fayetteville, Ga.) HS team that finished in the final four in the state for five consecutive years. Her father played and coached football at the University of New Hampshire.
Danielle McGee is a product of the Tar Heel state who attended Topsail High School in Wilmington. She was a top-25 player and won the 1-A State Tennis Championship as a freshman.
Nicole Nielly is ranked in the top 20 for the state of Georgia by most tennis recruiting sites. As team captain at Woodstock High School in Canton, Ga., Nielly led the Wolverines to Georgia's state tournament for the first time in school history in 2010, accomplishing the same feat again in the 2011 season. Nielly also received the team's leadership and academic excellence award for the Woodstock High School tennis team. Nielly has been the Wolverines' No. 1 singles player since her freshman season and was 10-4 in the 2010 regular season. She earned Ledger-News' First Team All-County honors as a junior.
Sara Ruiz Pajares is a native of Madrid, Spain. She attended Escuela Pias de San Fernando and won four tournaments as a senior. She was also ranked in the top 125 for juniors in Spain.