ASHEVILLE, N.C. - The UNC Asheville women's tennis team opens the 2013 season this weekend with two matches. The Bulldogs opening match will be at the Asheville Racquet Club downtown when they host Lees-McRae at 3 p.m. Asheville travels to Davidson on Sunday for a 1 p.m. match with the Wildcats.


Asheville was a very young team last season and finished with a 6-16 overall record. The Bulldogs return just about everybody from last year and should be much improved in 2013.


"We've got a good team coming back and have added some new players," stated Asheville coach Lise Gregory. "We think we have a chance to be much better in 2013. Like always, we need to stay from injuries and keep improving with each match."


The Bulldogs return five starters from last year's club. They include Zoe Hamel, Christine Boissevain, Emily McNall, Amryn Soldier and Amie Cloer. Hamel was Asheville's top player last year before going down with an injury midway through the season. The junior from Paris is healthy now and should be ready to lead the Bulldogs in 2013.


Two newcomers join the Asheville program and should make an immediate impact for the Bulldogs in 2013. They are Gillian Lewis from Austin, Texas and Ericka Rivero from Bolivia. Rivero just enrolled at UNC Asheville in January.


"I like the team we have, and everyone got some valuable experience last season," commented Gregory. "This weekend will be two good tests for us as we begin the season."