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Bearcats gear up for second year in America East

With a year of Division I experience under its belt, the Binghamton women’s tennis team is determined to continue its climb in the America East Conference. Last season, under the leadership of head coach Jamie Campbell, the Bearcats finished the season with a 12-11 dual match record and placed third at the America East Tournament. While the first season on the Division I level was a success, the squad has loftier goals for this season.

“Our goal is to finish in the top two in the conference,” Campbell said. “There are a lot of teams in the conference who will be fighting to finish that high. We know we’ll have to play well to reach our goal.”

A pair of veterans anchor the Bearcats’ lineup this season. Junior Janine Sadaka and senior Amy Weissberg were both among the top players last season.

Sadaka, this season’s top returnee, went 16-14 last season while spliting time at the top two singles spots.

“Janine has good on-court shot selection,” Campbell said. “She has improved a lot this past year. We are looking for her to be a leader both on and off the court.

Weissberg, who split time at the third, fourth and fifth singles flights, had a team-best 20-10 record last season.

“Amy’s serve has become a weapon,” Campbell said. “She should continue to improve this season and is a great leader on the team.”

The top newcomer on the team is freshman Justina Hakima, who concluded a stellar career at Herricks High School in Manhasset, N.Y. She won the Nassau County title last season and has been named all-state twice.

“Justina will help the team right away,” Campbell said. “Her intensity on the court is very high. She is a fighter and has a great serve.”

Other returnees who were among the top six singles players are senior Kristin Jobe, junior Erin Monaco and sophomore Alexis Brill. After transferring from Lee Community College in Texas, Jobe played the majority of last year at number three singles. Monaco, who finished with a 12-11 record, played most of the season at the sixth singles position. Brill went 17-12 and spent much of the season at the fourth singles spot.

In doubles action, the top returnees are Weissberg, who played at the first flight 17 times, and Jobe, who was at second doubles 16 times. Sophomore Amy Linda also returns, having attained a record of 15-13 while playing primarily at second doubles. In addition, Monaco was at third doubles 18 times last season.

Other newcomers to this year’s squad are sophomores Jonali Dutta, who played first singles for Oswego College last season, and Olga Lipatova. Junior Fernanda Dela Roca also begins her first year on the squad.

2002-03 Schedule

After playing primarily in tournaments during the fall, Binghamton has a dual match schedule in the spring. Included among the dual matches are head-to-head meetings against each of the America East Conference schools. The conference tournament is scheduled for April 25-27 and will be played at the Connecticut Tennis Center in New Haven, Conn.

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