ECU’s Burgess unveils 2022 tennis slate

ECU Pirates

Kirstin Burgess (ECU Sports Information photo)

GREENVILLE, N.C. – After returning to the courts for four tournaments during the fall season, the East Carolina women’s tennis team will play a full dual match schedule this spring, as announced by head coach Kirstin Burgess on Friday.

“Considering the youth and inexperience of our team, this may prove to be a very challenging schedule,” Burgess said. “I do believe however, that if this team performs to their potential, this schedule can put our program back on the college tennis map.”

The Pirates will open the season with three straight matches away from home, including taking on 2021 Final Four participant North Carolina in the season-opener on Jan. 18. The Pirates will then travel to Richmond for a pair of matches, battling VCU on Jan. 21 before a neutral site match against AAC foe Temple on Jan. 22.

February will bring the first home match since Feb. 29, 2020 when East Carolina hosts App State on Feb. 5. The Pirates will have a quick turnaround when they head down the road to Raleigh to take on NC State on Feb. 6. East Carolina will finish a stretch of matches against in-state foes by hosting UNCG on Feb. 11 and traveling to UNCW on Feb. 18. The Pirates will head right from Wilmington to Coastal Carolina for a match on Feb. 19.

The Pirates will head north for a pair of matches to open March, taking on George Washington (March 8) and Maryland (March 9). East Carolina will welcome Penn State to Greenville on March 11 and William & Mary on March 16. The Purple and Gold will close out the month with three straight road matches, battling NC Central (March 23), Davidson (March 26) and Charlotte (March 27).

The final month of the season will start when ECU travels to Old Dominion on April 2. The Pirates will celebrate Senior Day on April 9 with the final home match of the year as they host Campbell. The regular-season will come to a close on April 16 with a trip to Elon.

Following the conclusion of the regular-season, ECU will head to Tulsa, Okla., for the AAC Championships. The league’s annual postseason tournament
will start on April 20 and run through April 23.

East Carolina has three players with dual match experience in Alisa Diercksen, Alisha Hussain and Laura Becker. Diercksen is the most experienced on the squad, racking up 44 singles victories and 36 doubles victories since the start of the 2017-18 season. Alisha Hussain made her Pirate debut in the fall after arriving from Keiser University where she helped lead her team to the NAIA National Tournament championship. Hussain was a NAIA First-Team All-American, going 11-2 in singles and 12-3 in doubles. Like Hussain, Becker is in her first year in the Purple and Gold after going 9-5 in singles for Siena during the 2018-19 campaign.

Joining Diercksen, Hussain and Becker are Ines Bachir, Anne Lou Champion and Martina Muzzolon, all of whom made their collegiate debuts this fall. The trio will be heading into their first dual matches this spring. Rounding out the team will be Isabella Rivera Ortiz and Sofia Cerezo, both of whom signed their letters of intent this fall and will join the squad starting in January.

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