The Wolfpacker

January 2018

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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90 ■ THE WOLFPACKER BY JACEY ZEMBAL T he ACC is always loaded in wom- en's tennis. Last year, four teams finished ranked in the top 25. Add- ing to that, the Wolfpack's non-con- ference slate this spring also has four op- ponents that were rated among the top 25. Fourth-year head coach Simon Earnshaw is hoping the experiences of last few years have helped prepare the majority of the roster for what lies ahead. "I think the difference this year com- pared to my first three years here is that I actually have some upperclassmen that are third-year players," he said. "Hopefully that is going to help us and there isn't any- thing we haven't seen so far." NC State made major strides by qualify- ing a doubles team to the NCAA Champi- onships last year for the first time in school history. Sophomore Anna Rogers returns from that duo, but will have a new partner in junior Claudia Wiktorin. Rogers and the departed Martina Frantova not only played in the NCAA Championships, but also reached the Sweet 16. Rogers was tabbed as a third-team All- ACC performer as a freshman, which bodes well for the program's future. "She has always been a very good dou- bles player," Earnshaw said. "In singles, in the lower age groups, it tends to be long rallies, and doubles is the opposite of that. "Anna's skills have been able to translate over to singles. She doesn't have necessarily one big shot, but she can do everything well. She has a lot of different ways to beat you." The key for Rogers is to know which tool in her arsenal to use at the right time. "She can adapt to other people's games and really kind of disrupt them," Earnshaw said. "She has great size and she moves really well for her size. Her best years are ahead of her." The nucleus of Rogers, Wiktorin, senior Tayla Stenta, juniors Bianca Moldovan and Amanda Rebol, and sophomore Andriana Reami all return with plenty of experience for Earnshaw. Freshmen Taylor Bridges of Mesa, Ariz., and Helene Grimm of Buch- holz in der Nordheide, Germany, will try to bolster the lineup. The latter signed in November, but will enroll for the second semester and join the squad. The graduation of Frantova frees up the No. 1 singles spot, and Wiktorin, Rogers or possibly Reami are among those battling for the position. "We have had a number of players have a good fall, but we are kind of waiting to see if somebody steps up," Earnshaw said. "We may even have a rotation or a platoon. ■ PREVIEW WOMEN'S TENNIS Sophomore Anna Rogers earned third-team All-ACC accolades as a freshman and also reached the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Championships in doubles. PHOTO BY LARRY BLANKENSHIP Turning The Corner A Strong Group Of Veteran Players Has The Wolfpack Optimistic

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