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Warriors tennis no longer a surprise after stellar season
Cal State Stanislaus women’s tennis player Verena Preikschas is back for her sophomore year after leading the Warriors to a stellar run last season. - photo by Photo Contributed
It’s different now, and the Cal State Stanislaus women’s tennis players are quite aware what is at stake this time around.
The Warriors are no longer the new kids.
They’ve resurrected the program into one of the nation’s best.
Last season, the Warriors brought back women’s tennis after the sport was killed after the 1991 run. They rounded up coach Verek Visaraga, a prominent figure in Turlock tennis, and he was the one in charge of putting together a group of players who had to be brave enough to join an up-and-coming program.
They did just fine.
And now, they’re back at it again. There’s more pressure this time, after finishing last season at the NCAA Division II West Regional Tournament, a win short of advancing to nationals. A lot of last year’s stars are back, including Verena Preikschas, the sophomore from Arnsberg, Germany, who captured the California Collegiate Athletic Association’s MVP award after going 20-2 overall and a perfect 10-0 in the conference as the No. 1 singles player.
She’s once again an important piece of this year’s program, as the Warriors will play at San Jose State on Sunday in nonconference action. She’ll be joined by No. 2 Vanesa Reibstein and No. 3 Katie Eng, the returning CCAA Freshman of the Year.
Big things are expected this season.
“Our goal from now on is to always be in contention of the CCAA title,” Visaraga said. “And try to make it to nationals and regionals.”
A lot is possible, of course, with Preikschas leading the charge.
However, it was Reibstein — the Warriors’ No. 2 player — who was ranked higher than Preikschas in the first Women’s Tennis poll by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. Reibstein was seeded at No. 18, and Preikschas ranked 23rd.
So far, the Warriors have done well.
In late 2009, the duo of Eng and Preikschas topped Arizona’s Jane Huh and Natasha Marks of Division I at the Matador Intercollegiate Invitational in Northridge. And opponents are noticing this kind of effort, Visaraga said.
“We’re playing more Division Is this year,” he said. “And next year, we have a more incredible Division I schedule besides who we play in Division II.”
To contact Chhun Sun, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2041.