Facing only one departure from a 2018-19 squad that won nine matches over the course of the season, including four-straight during a stretch of late March and early April, the future of the head coach Ale Guerra’s UNC Greensboro women’s tennis program is bright to say the least.
The Spartans, who closed out the slate 9-12 overall and 3-4 in Southern Conference play, will lose senior Nancy Bridges to graduation. Meanwhile, the remainder of the roster consists of one junior (Sophia Adams), one redshirt-sophomore (Eugenia Camacho), three sophomores (Tayah Cross, Brianna Gomez, Emily Ory) and a pair of freshmen (Erika Barquero, Hanna Giddings).
The Spartans wrapped up the slate with the most wins since the 2012-13 season, when UNCG finished 14-7. Three of those nine wins came in conference action, which marked the most since 2013-14 when the Spartans claimed five league victories.
“We had a good run this past year and the kids are very excited for next year,” said Guerra. “It has been a few years of building a team culture and is finally coming together.”
Bridges, who became the first UNCG player since 2013 to earn First Team All-SoCon honors, capped off the season with 10 singles victories, all coming from the No. 1 seed. The Shelby, N.C., native also posted 10 doubles wins, eight of which came alongside Barquero, as the pair earned First Team All-SoCon doubles honors by a Spartan unit for the first time since 2013.
Barquero, named to the SoCon All-Freshman unit, tied Bridges and Adams in singles wins (10), snagging four as the No. 2 seed and six from the No. 3 position. The sixth Spartan to garner All-Freshman team honors and third in as many years, Barquero finished the season with six wins against conference opponents. The Puerto Rico native closed out her freshman campaign with three straight singles wins, downing Polina Goloputova (Chattanooga), Alejandra Morales (ETSU) and Elsa Pool (Samford).
The top returnee on the unit is Gomez, who posted a team-best 11 wins, three of which came in SoCon action. The Miami, Fla., native, who won 10 of those matches as the No. 4 seed, was responsible for seven straight-set victories on the season. After winning three-straight matches in early February against Alicza Zduniak (Coastal Carolina), Kylee Shipley (UNC Asheville) and Jeannez Daniel (Appalachian State), Gomez ended the season by winning four of her last five matches.
Gomez’s four victories to close out the season came in succession against Savannah Taranto (Western Carolina), Holly Horsfall (Samford), Olivia Archer (Elon) and Bogdana Zaporozhets (Chattanooga). Those wins mirrored the Spartans’ four-match team winning streak, which proved as the longest stretch since UNCG won six straight between March 2-March 13, 2013.
Adams also topped double-digit singles wins for the Spartans, finishing with 10 overall and four in conference play. Six of the victories came as UNCG’s No. 3 seed, while the other four came as the No. 2 seed. Adams played a critical role in helping the Spartans sweep a trip in Colorado, where UNCG downed Northern Colorado and Colorado State, as she won over fellow No. 2 seeds Raffa Mora (Northern Colorado) and Stella Cliffe (Colorado State).
The only rising senior on UNCG’s 2019-20 unit, Adams longest winning streak of the season came between March 28 and April 6, where she snagged four-straight. The wins came in succession against Lauren McCall (Western Carolina), Natalia De Ugarte (Samford), Uma Nayar (Elon) and Caroline Hall (Chattanooga).
Camacho, who narrowly missed grabbing double figure singles wins, emerged with nine singles and six doubles victories in 2018-19. Eight of the nine wins in singles play came as UNCG’s No. 5 seed, where she dominated the opposition by winning six straight-set matches. After triumphing in three consecutive matches between Feb. 28-March 6, Camacho put together her longest winning streak of the season (four) by downing Alexa Webb (Western Carolina), Arianna Beltrame (Samford), Nicole Shiau (Elon) and Emma Van Hee (Chattanooga) between March 28 and April 6.
Ory, who took part in three matches as a freshman, posted her first collegiate singles win in a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Anastasia Horvat (UNC Asheville) on Feb. 9th. That was the first of four straight-set wins by Ory on the season as she won back-to-back matches on three occasions. Her seventh and final victory came at Chattanooga over Annie Tarwater, as Ory prevailed by scores of 6-7, 7-6, 1-0.
Ory teamed with Gomez for 12 doubles matches, prevailing on three occasions as the No. 2-seeded doubles unit. That tandem collected the third-most wins behind Barquero / Bridges (eight) and Adams / Camacho (six).