2008
Women's tennis ready for NAC tests ahead

Women's tennis ready for NAC tests ahead
August 28, 2008

Dave Beyer, Sports Information Director
(630) 829-6143
dbeyer@ben.edu

Benedictine University’s women’s tennis team is looking to use the experience its youthful lineup gained last season to make strides up the Northern Athletics Conference (NAC) ladder in 2008. The Eagles – sporting a roster with no seniors last year – went 2-11 overall and placed eighth in the NAC’s 11-team post-season tournament. While the Eagle nestlings endured the rigors of a difficult schedule versus some top-flight competition, Semenik believes it will ultimately benefit her program. “It’s always difficult when young players are thrust into a situation where they are expected to play above their head,” reflected Semenik. “But I was proud of the way our ladies responded and the heart that they showed every match. Sometimes the real courage in competition comes from the willingness to accept a challenge in the first place, and our team did not shy away from anyone.” In all, Semenik will have five of her six starting singles players back in the fold as she carves out her 2008 lineup. Sophomore Yvonne Duong (Westmont, Ill./Hinsdale Central H.S.) played No. 1 singles and No. 1 doubles as a freshman. Duong teamed with another of this year’s returning sophomores, Ewelina Stachulak (Burbank, Ill./ Reavis H.S.) in doubles. Stachulak also played second singles for the Eagles. At No. 3 singles, the team’s lone returning senior in 2008 – Jessica Armour (Tinley Park, Ill./Marian Catholic H.S.) – is back. Armour is the Eagles’ team captain for 2008. Sophomore Andrea Oliva (Addision, Ill./Addison Trail H.S.) was Benedictine’s team “MVP” as a freshman playing at No. 4 singles (where she finished fourth in the NAC tournament) and No. 2 doubles. Also back is No. 6 singles is Angelina Gallegos (Oak Park, Ill./Morton East H.S.). “Not only did our team display the desire to compete, they were also coachable and were tremendous representatives of Benedictine women’s tennis,” said Semenik. “You can’t underestimate the value of that, either. We are building a program, which means we have to be aware of every aspect that relates to it: competition, classroom and campus-community. While I expect our team to work hard in practice and matches, it is equally important to me that we establish a presence and rapport on the academic side and among student life.” Three members of last year’s Eagles – including returners Duong and Stachulak – were named to the 2007-08 NAC Scholar-Athlete Team. “I’m looking forward to getting underway this season,” gushed Semenik. “I think we are ready to challenge ourselves to an even greater degree and I want each player to push themselves to that next step.”

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Benedictine University is an independent Roman Catholic institution located in Lisle, Illinois just 25 miles west of Chicago. Founded in 1887, Benedictine provides 56 undergraduate majors, 16 graduate and four doctorate programs. The Chronicle of Higher Education recently ranked Benedictine University as the seventh fastest-growing campus among private nonprofit master’s universities, and Forbes magazine named Benedictine among the top 20 percent of America’s colleges for 2011. Benedictine University’s Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) program is listed by Crain’s Chicago Business as the fourth largest in the Chicago area in 2011.