Women’s tennis takes the court with young team

tersen’s women’s tennis team had only one player who was not an underclassman. This year is not much different, with Brigitte Graf and Kennedy Scott as the only players with more than one year of experience on the team in addition to six freshmen added to the team for the 2011-2012 season.

“I feel that we have brought in an outstanding group of young ladies with a lot of talent and tons of USTA and high school tennis experience,” Petersen said.  “Many of these young ladies helped their high school teams to state titles, while some won individual state titles.”

The six freshmen come from all corners of the country. Petersen said one of the freshman Jessie Bertino is brimming with talent.

“I first saw Jessie playing a local tournament here in Peoria and was very impressed with her fight and ability to adapt her game,” Petersen said.  “I feel she will bring this same spirit to our program.”

Monique Graf followed her sister,  Brigitte, from Texas to Bradley. Brigitte has a chance to teach her little sister the ins-and-outs of the college game.

“Monique is a very raw, but talented young tennis player with a tremendous upside,” Petersen said.  “She has a desire to always do better, which is a great attitude to bring to our program.”

Monique and Brigitte may present an obvious doubles duo, an area the Braves struggled in last season. With an overall record of 14-63 in doubles, the young players will certainly have to grow together if they wish to reverse the recent fortunes of the team.

The four sophomores are also part of the youth movement, but still have to do their share in shaping the incoming freshmen.

“They add much-needed depth to an already very young team,” Petersen said.  “I am excited to see what they can do once we get them into the competitive season.  With these six freshmen and the six returning players, the future is very bright.”

The future is not too far away for the Braves with their first tournament, the Hotels at Grand Prairie Invitational at the Markin Tennis Courts, starting September 9th.