Clarksville, Ark.-The University of the Ozarks women's tennis team qualified for the post-season a year ago under first-year head coach Cullen Dees and now aim for even greater success in 2017.
"The program has set higher goals this season," said Dees. "They want to improve on what they accomplished last year. They want to make some noise at the conference tournament. We are still young so there is a little bit on the unknown."
The women's team advanced to the post-season American Southwest Conference Tournament last season for the first time since 2007.
"Our girls want to be back in the tournament," said Dees. "They want to start a streak of their own. The women's division is just as tough if not tougher than the men's side. I believe we will grow as a team together this year. The team is very coachable."
Maggie Johnson is the lone senior, while Kristen Swafford is the team's only junior. Imani Doyle and Olivia Allard return for their sophomore seasons.
"I think Imani is growing into the role as a leader," said Dees. "Her game will improve from the confidence she's built from putting in the work in the offseason."
"Our freshmen class worked hard in the offseason," said Dees. "Karlee and Madison are our top freshmen. They have done the little things right and that will pay off. I'm very excited for what's ahead. If they can keep their nerves calm, they can have success."
A boom for both programs will be a state-of-the-art facility set to open later this year.
"The team is excited to see the final facility," said Dees. "I think the team will be impressed. It will be the nicest place in the conference."
Ozarks will open the season February 11 in Memphis against Christian Brothers University.