Lexington, Ky. – With a big season ahead, head coach Kevin Calhoun announced his incoming class along with the blueprint of the 2017-18 season.
Calhoun, who took over as head coach of the Pioneers men's and women's tennis program last fall after coming over from the University of Kentucky, welcomes Reagan Jobe (Versailles, Ky.), Anna Burch (Lexington, Ky.), and Madison Campbell (Lexington, Ky.) into the fold for the 2017-18 women's tennis season.
Also joining the men's roster is freshman Dylan Moore (Beattyville, Ky.), who adds an immediate winning dose to the Pioneers tennis team.
The Transylvania women's season gets going in early September with a two-day individual bracket-style tournament at Depauw University in Greencastle, Indiana before commencing Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference regular season play Wednesday, September 20 against Mount St. Joseph at home.
Moore and the Transylvania men's tennis squad begin its season in earnest during Spring 2018, with nonconference matches at Sewanee and versus LaGrange. The Pioneers will take on a trio of regional nonconference opponents in Otterbein, Ohio Wesleyan, and Centre, before delving into the heart of conference play. Transylvania kicks off HCAC action against Rose-Hulman on Saturday, March 31 as they begin their resurgence in men's tennis.
Calhoun expressed enthusiasm for his first incoming class, a memorable one that takes its turn as the first influx of new talent under his guidance for a team seeking to soar back to the top of the HCAC picture.
"The class of 2021 will be a huge help for our program," stated Calhoun. "We have three young women who are motivated, invested, and selfless. Their enthusiasm will be contagious. I'm really excited to welcome them in and to get started working with them."
Jobe, Burch, and Campbell will join a team that qualified for the HCAC Conference Tournament in its first run under Calhoun, the veteran coach who came to Transylvania after a six-year stint as an assistant coach with the University of Kentucky's women's tennis program.
"We lost only one senior from the 2016-17 team, and we return five singles starters and six doubles starters," continued Calhoun. "The new additions will add to that core, and we will have depth that will really aid us as we move through the season."
Jobe comes to the Pioneers from Woodford County High School, where she was chosen as the team's Most Valuable Player her senior season. Jobe led her squad to a 12-3-1 record in her senior season, while going 8-3 in singles play and 5-1 in doubles competition as a senior. Jobe's squad encountered season-long success, advancing to the second round of her region's tournament. Jobe looks forward to making her impact on the Pioneers, saying "I love seeing my team improve even in the smallest ways and want to bring support to the team!"
Burch brings an impressive resume to the Pioneers, coming from nearby Paul Laurence Dunbar High School. The incoming freshman went 49-23 during her time with the Bulldogs, being selected to the 2017 All-Region Team. Along with a winning pedigree, Burch plans to bring the intangibles as well: "I feel like I can bring leadership, passion, and positivity to the team," said Burch.
Another local product, Campbell joins the Pioneers from Henry Clay High School in Lexington. Campbell is known as a fierce competitor whose team soared to great heights in her final year at Henry Clay, advancing to the second round of the state tournament. Campbell was undefeated in singles play as a senior, and was part of the #1 doubles squad.
Moore enters Transylvania as a key piece of the Pioneers' future foundation. A 5-foot-10 multi-sport athlete from Lee County High School, Moore comes off of a state tournament appearance in his final run as a high school player. Moore was named to his All-Region Team, going 10-2 in regular season play.
Along with Moore, Calhoun will welcome upperclassman Edis Sinanovic (Bowling Green, Ky.) to his roster, who previously played soccer at Transy. Both players will figure into Calhoun's lineup for the upcoming season.
"The addition of Dylan Moore is a big add for us, and Edis adds a new dimension to our team," said Calhoun. "Both played junior tennis at a high level and will help our lineup. Getting Brandon Stofleth back will make us better as well. With the core we have returning, I am excited about the possibilities for this team."
Before the Pioneers women's tennis team gets its regular season underway, it will spend time up north, venturing to the season-opening Depauw Tournament on Saturday and Sunday, September 2 and 3, before taking on Midway University on Wednesday, September 6.
The Pioneers will test their mettle the following weekend as they head into the heart of Ohio, facing Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio at 10:00 a.m., before swinging down to Bexley, Ohio to face Capital University later that day at 4:00 p.m. They will round up the weekend the following day in Westerville, Ohio at the home of Otterbein University.
HCAC regular season play will run from mid-September through October 14, before the first round of conference tournament play begins on Friday, October 20.
The Pioneers will keep in rhythm by visiting Sewanee on February 24, before taking their annual spring break trip in Florida the week of March 12 as they face a slate of five talented teams in a span of five days.
"This schedule is a big step up for the program," said Calhoun. "As we continue to improve, we need to measure ourselves against high-level competition. This schedule will allow us to do that. It will also make very clear to our players that there are things they need to do in order to compete at a high level."
The Pioneers women's team will begin its climb with a valuable test at Depauw, a weekend Calhoun hopes will set the tone for a watershed season.
"I'm excited for the senior seasons for Mary Grace, Sibei, Myriah, and Lili," said Calhoun. "These four young women have meant so much to the program during their time here. It's my hope that the leadership they've given will pay off in a wonderful experience in their senior season."
On the men's side, the season will be marked by an early-season trip to Sewanee, before heading to Orlando, Florida for the annual spring break trip. The Pioneers finish their regular season with three of four matches taking place at home, capped off by an April 28 match against Manchester.
"The schedule for the men is very ambitious," commented Calhoun. "Many really tough teams wait for us in the conference, so we have to play strong teams before the conference starts to be ready."
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