AKRON, Ohio – The University of Akron women's tennis team begins its 2016 fall season this weekend by competing in the Greater Cincinnati Invitational this Friday and Saturday.
The Invitational is in its second year and will be held at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason, Ohio, on Sept. 16-17. The 16-court Center is home to the Western & Southern Open and is the only tennis venue in the world apart from the Grand Slam venues to feature four permanent stadia. Match play will begin each morning at 8 a.m. ET and will continue until approximately 7 p.m. Admission is free to the public.
The Zips are one of 13 teams playing on the women's side in the event, joining Abilene Christian, Belmont, Bowling Green, Butler, Dayton, Duquesne, Eastern Kentucky, Evansville, IUPUI, St. Francis, UIC, Valparaiso and Xavier.
"This weekend is going to be tough," said head coach Brandon Padgett. "However, I'm excited to see our players step up and perform against strong competition."
Coach Padgett is in his seventh season as head coach at Akron. Padgett's squad returns eight performers from last season and welcomes one newcomer. Seniors Shannon Newnes (Romford, London) and Karalina Maksimava (Mogilev, Belarus) are back as well as 2016 Mid-American Conference Player of the Year in junior Ariadna Blinova (Riga, Latvia).
Akron also returns juniors Sophia Geier (Burgebrach, Germany), Carli Knezevich (Austin, Texas), and Waverly Wituski (Springboro, Ohio) along with sophomores Luisa Echeverry (Cali, Columbia) and Carla Flores (Coahuila, Mexico). They're joined by freshman Ana Rita Pedroso (Porto, Portugal).