LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The 2005-06 marks the ten year anniversary for the Cowgirl Tennis program, and with that they also welcome a new face at the helm as Kristen Hall enters her first season with the program. Hired on Sept. 13, 2005, she becomes just the third head coach in school history.
Hall comes to Wyoming after spending the past year at Washington State University as an assistant coach in 2004-05. During that time, the Cougars finished with a 9-14 record overall and a ninth place finish in the PAC-10. Prior to her tenure at Washington State, she spent one year as an assistant at her alma mater Virginia Tech where she helped guide the Hokies to a 14-14 record and a fourth place finish in the Big East. A four-year letterwinner at Virginia Tech, during her senior season, she was ranked nationally in singles play and set a school record with 81 career doubles victories.
"I am extremely excited to be the new head coach at the University of Wyoming," said Hall. "Wyoming is a great place to live and I am looking forward to what the future will bring to the tennis program."
This team has high expectations entering upcoming season as the Cowgirls return five starters and six letterwinners to a team that went 9-13 overall and 1-6 in the Mountain West Conference a year ago. This year's squad is composed of one senior, three juniors, two sophomores and one freshman.
"Six of our seven players have at least one year of experience in college tennis," said Hall. "They know what to expect and what they need to do to reach our team goals."
The Cowgirls will again look to senior Patricia Chien to bring leadership to this young team. Chien is coming off a strong junior season as she went 16-16 overall, and posted a 15-17 mark in doubles play while playing as Wyoming's number one player.
"Patricia is a great leader on this team," Hall explained. "She leads by example and is a great role model for her teammates. She has a wealth of experience in college tennis that she can communicate to the younger players."
Another Cowgirl looking to break out this season is junior Karolina Rowinski. Rowinski had a solid sophomore year as she went 12-16 overall and 15-14 in doubles while playing in the number two spot. Coming out of the fall competition Rowinski and doubles partner Patricia Chien are off to a blazing 4-2 start.
"I was extremely impressed with the doubles performance of Patricia Chein and Karolina Rowinski at the Central Regional Tournament," said Hall. "This team made it to the Round of 16 while knocking off the ninth seeded team from the University of Nebraska."
Along with Chien and Rowinski, sophomore Corina Lazar will be expected to carry some of the load for the Cowgirls. Lazar had a stellar freshman campaign as she posted a 17-16 overall record.
"Corina is a self-motivator with an intense desire to improve. She has to ability to dictate points off of her serve and ground strokes," added Hall. "She is a vital part to the success of this year's team."
Junior Andrea House had a solid sophomore year as well. House had a 14-13 individual record which upped her overall career record to 34-26. The Cowgirls will look for her to excel on the court this year.
"Andrea is a very talented player with the ability to play anywhere on the court," said Hall. "She vastly adds to the depth on this team."
"Amy has a tremendous work ethic and is extremely coachable," Hall said. "Each day she takes another step forward in her growth as a tennis player."
Perhaps the most competitive girl on the team, Michelle Brown, had a solid freshman year in both singles and doubles play.
"Michelle has improved tremendously over the course of the fall. She is a tough competitor and we look for her to contribute on our team this spring," added Hall.
The lone newcomer to this year's team is freshman Jamie Nelson. Nelson came to Wyoming from Shreve, Ohio. She sat out the fall season due to an injury, but good things are expected from Nelson.
"Jamie is a great addition to our program," said Hall. "She was an outstanding junior player, who brings an abundance of knowledge about tennis to our team. We expect her to contribute immediately in both singles and doubles."
The Cowgirls road to success is a tough one as they have some very good non-conference opponents that stand in their way.
"This season we have many opportunities to play against some of the best teams in the country," Hall said. "The team is looking forward to capitalizing on the challenging opportunities that we face. Our non-conference schedule will prove to the players their potential as a team, giving us positive momentum as we start the Mountain West Conference schedule."
The spring schedule kicks off in Bozeman, Mont. as they play Montana State on January 27th. The conference opener is on March 4th as the Cowgirls take on Air Force in Colorado Springs. The lone home match for the Cowgirls will be on April 4th against the Northern Colorado Golden Bears at 2 p.m. The Mountain West Conference tournament will be held April 27th-29th in San Diego, Calif.