The Georgetown women’s tennis team will start off their season tomorrow at the UNC-WilmingtonCollegiate Invitational, where the Hoyas had a successful, if rain-shortened, showing last year.

The invitational, which will feature players from Furman, Virginia Tech, and West Virginia as well as host UNC-Wilmington, should be a good chance for the Blue and Gray to demonstrate their off-season improvements. Notably missing from the Hoyas’ contingent will be Stephanie Wetmore, who spent her final year of eligibility as a Georgetown player after graduating from UCLA. Wetmore, now an assistant coach with the team, was a dominant force for the Blue and Gray last year and was named team MVP after posting a 25-9 record at first singles. She was Head Coach Gordie Ernst’s first-ever player to make the all-Big East team.

“The girls have played with her before,” Ernst said of Wetmore. “They really trust her … when she has something to say, they listen.”

While Ernst admits that his team is “rusty” after a long off-season, he is optimistic that his experienced squad — aided by some new young talent — will not disappoint.

Ernst is looking towards players such as senior Lauren Greco, who finished last season with an overall record of 19-12, and sophomore Maddie Jaeger, who finished 16-13 overall, to build on their experience from last season and have solid tournaments. Ernst is also excited about the potential of some of his younger players, particularly freshman Sophia Panarese.

“She’s is a great kid and a great competitor,” Ernst said of the Milton, Mass. native.

In general, though, Ernst is just excited to see his charges take the court for the first time this year.

“I want to see close matchers that end with a victory,” Ernst said. “I want the girls to step up, work hard and bring the competitive fire.”

The UNC-Wilmington Collegiate Invitational begins today and will run through Saturday. The Hoyas return to the Hilltop next weekend when they host the three-day Georgetown classic.

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