GENESEO, N.Y. - The SUNY Geneseo women's tennis team enters the 2018-19 campaign in search of an eighth-straight State University of New York Athletic Conference title, beginning its season at Hartwick on Saturday (Sept. 1). Here are six things you need to know about the Knights this season:
1. OUT WITH THE OLD
Geneseo graduated three of the program's most decorated student-athletes last year as Rachel Ollis, Anika Pornpitaksuk and Lauren Salzano left the program. Salzano and Pornpitaksuk were twice named SUNYAC Doubles Team of the Year, while Ollis was selected to the All-Conference second team last season. The trio combined for 184 match victories over their four-year careers.
2. IN WITH THE NEW
The Knights welcome nine new faces to the program this year, adding significant depth to the team. Junior transfer Sam Montague joins the squad after two years at Sage Colleges, while eight first-year players join the fold. The nine-member group marks the largest incoming class in head coach Jason Stephens' four years at the helm.
3. STEPPING UP TO THE CHALLENGE
Seniors Vanessa Lam-Tran and Nina Lurie return after earning SUNYAC All-Tournament Team honors last season. Lam-Tran was named First Team All-Conference in singles and earned second team honors in doubles. The pair combined to post a 13-2 record in singles matches against SUNYAC opponents last season, including three singles wins in the SUNYAC Tournament. Both will serve as captains in 2018, stepping up into leadership roles on and off the court. Sophomores Dana Sorrentino, Catherine Gluchowski, Gretchen Ayoub and Zara Shah also return for the Knights.
4. CHIP CHASING IS THE BUSINESS
Geneseo has won each of the last seven SUNYAC Championships, including last season's title with a 5-3 victory over New Paltz. The Knights are three championships shy of tying the longest streak of consecutive SUNYAC Women's Tennis Championships, currently held by former member institution Binghamton (10 titles, 1987-96).
5. WE'RE STILL A LITTLE SALTY
The Knights dropped their first regular season match to a conference opponent since 2012 last season, falling 5-4 to Oneonta (Sept. 21) to snap a 40-match SUNYAC regular season winning streak. Geneseo avenged the loss in the postseason, defeating the Red Dragons, 5-2, in the SUNYAC Semifinal round.
6. ON THE ROAD AGAIN
Geneseo plays just two matches at home this season, with the rest of their contests on the road. After battling Hartwick, the Knights will travel to William Smith to compete in the William Hosking Invitational (Sept. 7-9). On September 11 the team will open its SUNYAC schedule with a trip to Oswego before hosting Cortland on Sept. 14, the squad's only home match of the fall. The Knights will travel to the Philadelphia area to compete in the Swarthmore Invitational (Sept. 15-16) and take part in the ITA Regionals, hosted by William Smith (Sept. 22-24). Geneseo will cap its regular season conference schedule with three matches in three days, taking on New Paltz (Oct. 5), Plattsburgh (Oct. 6) and Oneonta (Oct. 7) at Binghamton Racquet Club. The team will return to Binghamton for the SUNYAC Tournament, beginning October 13.