Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Chiricosta ready for junior season at Bowling Green

For Avon Lake's Christine Chiricosta, she couldn't be more ready for her junior season at Bowling Green State University.

After just two years at BG, Chiricosta has 42 singles wins, which is just three shy of 24th place in Falcon school history. Her total of 85 overall wins puts her just two away from joining the Top 25 all-time in school history.

Her overall record of 39-16 last season, which was best on the Falcons, earned her a selection on ESPN The Magazine Women's At-Large Academic All-District Team and Academic All-MAC honors. She also earned a second-straight All-MAC Second-Team selection.

"There's going to be some new challenges this year, but I'm definitely looking forward to it," Chiricosta said. "I have a lot to build on, because I set the bar pretty high."

She is focused on this year, but knows it will tough.

"I definitely want to come in and play No. 1 singles," Chiricosta said. "We have a really tough schedule with some Big Ten teams and some top teams in the NCAA. I'm hoping to maintain a winning record and playing well with my new doubles partner."

Winning the MAC is a team goal after coming close last season.

"I'm hoping to win the MAC this year," Chiricosta said. "We were two games away from winning it last year. We have a chance to do that. I think we can have a winning record. We just hope to play strong tennis and stay healthy."

Chiricosta, who played second singles for most of the year, went 3-0 in dual matches at the No. 1 flight and was 9-4 at the No. 2 flight in dual-match play. In doubles, Chiricosta had a record of 19-9.

In the classroom, Chiricosta maintains a perfect 4.00 GPA as an adolescent/young adult/secondary education major.

The Falcons ended the 2008-09 season with an overall dual-match record of 12-7 and a MAC regular-season mark of 5-3. BGSU finished with a winning record in MAC play for the first time since the 2002-03 season.

Chiricosta kept busy this summer, playing the College summer circuit tournaments, including one at the University of Pittsburgh and one at University of Michigan. She also played two national mother-daughter tournaments, winning both of them. Her and her mother Sheila won the "gold ball" in Vancouver, Washington and in Rhode Island, which makes four mother-daughter "gold balls" for her and her mother. Sheila has six total after winning two others with her son during mother-son tournament play.

"That was an amazing experience," Chiricosta said. "The one we won in Rhode Island was at the International Tennis Hall of Fame, so that was really something. It was an awesome experience. She is fun to play with."

Christine also mentioned how important her parents are. Her parents Rick and Sheila met while playing collegiate tennis at Toledo.

"She's made all the difference, both my parents have," Chiricosta said. "She's realistic and doesn't put pressure on me. My parents have been really supportive. They've made all the difference in all our careers. They've been great."

Christine is excited about her sister Nikki, a senior at Avon Lake, who will be joining her at BG next season.

"It's huge," Chiricosta said. "We both were hoping all along that we would have the opportunity to be on the same team again. Playing at a Division I strong tennis program like BG is awesome. My mom used to coach there so we have a lot of family history there. My coach and my teammates can't wait for her to get there."

Winning an elusive state championship in doubles her senior year with her freshman sister Nikki will always be unforgettable.

"It was the highlight of my career hands down," Chiricosta said. "It was really awesome. There's no way to describe what an accomplishment that felt like. I still remember it so well. It brought me tears, it was unbelievable. It was everything that she and I ever worked for. We both always wanted a state title and the fact that we got to win it together in front of all of our family and friends was the neatest thing in the world."

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