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Any challenge can be overcome with the will to win.
The Indiana University East women's tennis team plans to prove it during the 2012-13 season.
"The year's theme for the women's tennis team is 'Overcoming challenges with the will to win,'" said second-year Red Wolves coach Erskine Ratchford, who guided IU East to a 12-win improvement in his first season.
"With the limited number of players on this year's team, the women will need to dig deep in all of their matches to achieve success. Fortunately we have women on our team who have the heart and will to win in challenging circumstances. I am proud to be part of this team as the upcoming season commences."
WHAT HAPPENED LAST YEAR?
Record: 13-6 (4-6 during spring season)
Conference: 9-4 in Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, third place
Postseason: Reached championship match of KIAC tournament
Kristi Henderson, senior
Kristi was 9-7 in singles (primarily No. 5 singles) and 9-8 in doubles (primarily No. 1 doubles) in 2011
Paige Froman, redshirt junior
Paige was 12-7 in singles (primarily No. 4 singles) and 9-9 in doubles (primarily No. 2 doubles) in 2011
Cheltsi Hinners, junior
Cheltsi was 8-11 in singles (primarily No. 3 singles) and 9-9 in doubles (primarily No. 2 doubles) in 2011
Emily Underwood, sophomore
Emily was 4-15 in singles (primarily No. 2 singles) and 14-5 in doubles (primarily No. 3 doubles) in 2011
Erskine Ratchford, head coach
Erskine guided IU East's women's team to a 12-win turnaround in his first season. The men's and women's teams improved by 20 total wins under Erskine's guidance.
Chelsea Helms, freshman
Chelsea was the conference champion at No. 1 singles during her senior season at Centerville (Ind.) High School
THREE STORYLINES TO WATCH
* Quality over quantity. The Red Wolves start the season with five players on the roster. IU East will start each match facing a 2-0 deficit due to defaults unless a sixth player can be found. However, each of the individual players is capable of a winning record.
* No more surprises. IU East was the most improved collegiate team in Indiana in 2011-12, improving by 12 wins. The Red Wolves won't sneak up on anyone this season!
* The home team. IU East will host the KIAC tournament Oct. 26 and 27 at Glen Miller Park and Richmond High School. It's IU East's first opportunity to host the conference tournament.
THREE MATCHES TO WATCH
* Oct. 1 vs. Earlham - The Red Wolves host their cross-city opponent. IU East and Earlham split a pair of meetings in IU East's first two NAIA seasons.
* Oct. 3 vs. Asbury - IU East takes on a team it edged twice in 2011, including a marathon match in the KIAC tournament semifinals. Most of the same players are back for both teams.
* Oct. 20 vs. IU Southeast - The Red Wolves see how they measure up against the program that is the KIAC measuring stick. IU Southeast has not lost a KIAC match since IU East joined the NAIA.
THREE MILESTONES TO WATCH
* Paige Froman is one win away from matching the school record for career singles wins
* With each doubles win, Emily Underwood will add to her school record of 14 doubles victories
* The IU East women's tennis program has earned NAIA Scholar-Team distinction in both seasons of its existence.
RED WOLVES IN THE RANKINGS
2nd - IU East's ranking in the KIAC women's tennis preseason poll.
FOLLOW THE RED WOLVES
IU East women's tennis home page
IU East women's tennis 2012 roster
IU East women's tennis 2012 schedule
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