The Kansas City women's tennis team will get its first taste of action for the fall season when it heads the the KU invitational from Friday to Sunday. The 'Roos welcome one new eligible player to the squad in freshman Dimitra Stavrianakou, while returning five starters to last season's singles lineup and all six doubles starters.
The first competition of two that will take place this fall, UMKC will head to the first KU Invitational. There will be several individual brackets with players from Kansas, Kansas State, Wichita State, South Dakota, Arkansas State, Arkansas-Little Rock, Texas-Arlington, and Abilene Christian. Doubles play will also take place in several brackets based on seed.
WHO IS COMPETING
Kansas City is sending Amelie Amsallem, Laura Bouet, Eva Dalvai, Suzan Lisenby , Gabby Pintos, Madeline Schulte, and Dimitra Stavrianakou to compete in this weekend's tournament.
This season's team captains are seniors Laura Bouet, Eva Dalvai, and Suzan Lisenby.
UMKC's current roster boasts three of the top four all-time winners in school history in Laura Bouet, Eva Dalvai, and Suzan Lisenby. The group includes three seniors.
The roster also has the top three doubles players in school history.
As a team, the 'Roos set a school record with 13 victories last season.
HEAD COACH KENDELL HALE
Kendell Hale is in his fifth season as the head coach of the UMKC women's tennis program. Overall, the 2012-13 season is Hale's 19th as a collegiate head coach, and compiled a 340-242 overall combined record coming into 2012-13. He has a current 42-63 mark with the women. Hale has coached nine all-league selections and was selected at the 2010 USPTA National Coach of the Year for his turnaround effort at UMKC.
In 2011, Hale guided the 'Roos to a school record 12 victories and a 6-2 mark in Summit League play. UMKC finished third in the regular season standings to qualify for the league tournament for the second straight year, and made it to the championship match for the first time in school history.
Before joining the UMKC coaching staff, Hale spent 11 years as the head coach at Rockhurst University, where he led the Hawks to nine NCAA Tournament appearances.
NEW ASSISTANT COACH CASSIDY MEARS
Cassidy Mears was named the top assistant coach this summer. He came to UMKC after spending the 2011-12 season as an assistant with Rockhurst.
A Shawnee, Kansas product, he played four years at Brigham Young University and finished his career as the third winningest player in school history. He helped his team finish No. 22 in the nation as a senior (2010), earning conference Player of the Week honors four times during the year. He also served as team captain for three seasons, and went undefeated in conference play during both his junior and senior campaigns.
Mears was a three-time all-conference and academic all-conference selection during his time there. In his season at Rockhurst, he helped the Hawks to their best finish in school history.