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1996 PREP PREVIEW / GIRLS' TENNIS

Mater Dei

September 08, 1996

Coach: Cindy Nolan (second year).

1995: 12-9, 8-2 in the South Coast League; lost to Corona del Mar, 14-4, in quarterfinals of the Southern Section Division I playoffs.

Key returners: Elena Klau, singles or doubles, So.; Sarah Luckey, No. 2 singles, Jr.; Megan Stremick, doubles, Jr.; Karen Vigen, Sr.; Melissa Walker, played No. 1 doubles with Vigen, Sr.

Key newcomers: Melissa Esmero, No. 1 singles, nationally-ranked in 14s, Fr.; Erin Herrel, doubles, Fr.; Kristen Hoppe, transfer from University; Mary Hung, No. 3 singles, Fr.

Outlook: The Monarchs challenged Dana Hills for the South Coast League title last year, and Esmero might put them over the top this year. Nolan, however, is cautiously optimistic. "I am not assuming we're better than Dana Hills," she said, "but I'd be disappointed if we couldn't push our league [record] up one more game." Mater Dei won matches on the strength of its doubles play last year, but this season, singles might be the difference. A tough nonleague schedule includes Corona del Mar, Santa Margarita, Newport Harbor and Mater Dei's own Challenge Cup tournament.

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