New Era Begins for Cincinnati Tennis Jones Brings High Expectations to BearcatsHead coach Kimberly Jones is entering her first season leading the Cincinnati tennis team, but she is about the only newcomer to the team. The Bearcats boast six returning letterwinners, all of whom saw action in dual matches last season. The two seniors gone from last year's 12-12 team were two of the winningest players in school history, but the 2003-04 squad boasts a great deal of talent for Jones to work with.
The leader of the team is not in question, as Lyndsey Molony, a three-year starters, returns for UC. She already has 100 combined wins in her career and will be counted on to hold the top spot in the lineup. Molony has a diverse game that allows her to adapt to different playing styles.
Most likely playing in the second spot is Cristina Reyes, one of a trio of successful juniors. She posted a 13-9 record in dual matches playing in the middle of the lineup, and she finished strong by winning 11 of her last 17 matches. Reyes is the most powerful player on the team and harnessing that power is her challenge.
Moving into the three spot during the preseason was freshman Hannah Hinton. She is a strong player from Gainesville, Fla. who was named all-state twice and went 48-6 in her singles career. Like a number of the Bearcats she also enjoyed a successful high school basketball career.
Next in the lineup are the Klauck sisters. Junior Julie won 40 combined matches as a freshman, but injuries forced her to miss much of last season. She came back strong, however, posting a 9-3 singles mark in the last two months of the season, including winning her final eight matches.
Sophomore Jill Klauck led the team in singles wins last year with 21. She boasted a nine-match winning streak in mid-season and finished by winning 14 of her final 18 matches. Jill was limited in the fall by a back injury that caused her to change her serving motion.
The final starting spot is up for grabs among the three remaining players. Heading the pack is junior Samantha Liu. She struggled at times last year, but won 12 matches as a freshman.
Mariana Lozano joined the Bearcats last year after a successful junior college career. She is a very quick player who saw limited action last season.
Freshman Kirby Doran is a walk-on who posted a 98-13 career record in high school. She placed third in Ohio as a senior at The Columbus Academy.
Jones will look at some new doubles combinations this year, as seven of the 12 tandems used last year involved players no longer with the team. The top duo is the unlikely pairing of senior Molony with freshman Hinton. Molony is already 10th all-time at UC in doubles wins with 48 and has won 19 in two of the past three seasons. Hinton has a strong serve and volley game suited for doubles.
Juniors Reyes and Julie Klauck will form the number two doubles team. Klauck won 20 doubles matches as a freshman and picked up 10 wins in limited action last year. Reyes played on the number two duo most of last year.
The third duo will most likely be Jill Klauck and Liu. Liu won 24 doubles matches as a freshman, the second-most in UC history. Klauck played in only 13 doubles matches last year and went 5-3 in dual contests.
Overall, Jones is happy with the team she has inherited and she plans on pushing them. A regional ranking is her short-term goal, but she expects more. She wants a national ranking from the Bearcats and she thinks they have the talent and resources to be there soon.