The Wolfpacker

March 2012

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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singles spot after a memorable fall cam- paign. During the first half of the season, the second-year player from Hostetter, Pa., recorded victories over players ranked No. 18 and No. 55 in the nation at the time of the matches, and she rose as high as No. 40 in the national rankings. Helping to lead the team alongside of Kissell are senior Ashley Miller, a former transfer from South Carolina, and juniors Tatiana Illova and Chloe Smith. Sopho- more Christy Sipes and a trio of freshmen from across the world — Elisha Hande and Sophie Nelson from England are joined by Ecuador native Nicole Martinez — round out the roster. "I'm very excited to play with this group of girls," Kissell said. "I think it is a re- ally good group and we're really close. We practice so hard that everybody gives it all they have at every practice. Down the road, that is going to be an amazing strength we have because we're so young. "Everybody is going to improve so much from just practicing with each other and learning from one another in the years to come." "I'm really pleased with the work ethic of this team," Olsen said. "I'm very proud of what they are putting into their team and I'm very excited about this year. Our goal is to take a step forward every week and to learn from every match. I think that this team, realistically, is going to have some wins that people are going to scratch their heads about a little bit and be surprised about how well they played. Then, at times, I think they're going to do the same with some of the losses, but that's part of being a young team. "We're going to use that to our advantage and continue to just move the team forward every week — every day of practice and every day of competition is an opportunity to learn and move forward, that is our goal for this year." ■ Three To Watch Sophomore Joelle Kissell — The second-year player has stepped right into the No. 1 singles spot and helped lead the Pack with a record of 15-6 as of Feb. 20. Last year, she posted 20 wins in the spring, including eight victories over ACC foes. Junior Tatiana Illova — The Slovakian has also found a home at the top of the lineup and was No. 114 in the ITA preseason rankings. Illova tallied 13 wins in doubles and 16 victories in singles, with three wins over ranked opponents, a year ago. Senior Ashley Miller — The team's lone senior has been a steady contributor over the past two seasons in Raleigh and teamed with sophomore Christy Sipes last year to rise as high as No. 86 in the national rankings for doubles. MARCH 2012 ■ 83

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