MORAGA, Calif. -- The Saint Mary's women's tennis team begins its 2013-14 season this weekend with a familiar trip as the Gaels make the short trek to Berkeley to take part in the Cal Nike Invitational.
Action begins Friday at 8 a.m. at Hellman Tennis Complex, with one round of doubles followed by two rounds of singles. Saturday will feature two rounds of doubles and one singles, while Sunday brings the doubles finals followed by singles semifinals and finals.
Saint Mary's returns plenty from last year's squad that became the fourth straight Gaels women's tennis team to reach the NCAA Tournament. The Gaels finished 13-10 overall and were crowned West Coast Conference co-champions after finishing 7-1 in conference play.
Headlining that list of returners is reigning WCC Player of the Year Jenny Jullien, who enters her senior season as the No. 22-ranked player in the country according to the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) preseason rankings. Jullien climbed as high as No. 17 in the rankings last season, becoming Saint Mary's highest-ranked player ever.
She isn't the only Gael returning to the singles lineup. Danielle Flores, Jade Frampton, Catherine Leduc and Audrey Leitz are all back for another season in Moraga, and all will have plenty of experience to draw from.
On the doubles side, Jullien and Flores return after earning All-WCC first team honors last year. Elizabeth Searl saw plenty of doubles action last season, and she returns this season to bolster the lineup as well. Leitz and Frampton also played doubles last season and should find themselves there again this year.
The lone newcomer to this year's squad is Castro Valley, Calif. native Jamie Pawid. A transfer from Hawai'i, Pawid will look to crack both the singles and doubles lineups as she gets her Saint Mary's career started this fall.
After competing at Cal, Jullien will be back in action next week as she competes in the ITA All-American Championships in Los Angeles. The full squad will next be in action from Oct. 11-13 when the Gaels host their annual Saint Mary's Fall Invitational at Korth Tennis Complex.