MAKING A RACKET

Tennis looks to bounce back with a new head coach

By KEVIN YOUNG

The Western Carolina women’s tennis team will enter its spring Southern Conference slate of matches under the leadership of a new coach, Michaela Kissell-Eddins, who took over the program in September. Prior to coming to WCU, Kissell-Eddins spent a season at the University of Pittsburgh as the interim head coach for the Panthers.

Michaela-Kissell-Eddins

Michaela Kissell-Eddins (right) congratulates a WCU tennis player during a practice session.

“We are extremely excited to have attracted someone with Michaela’s background and knowledge,” Randy Eaton, director of athletics, said.

Pitt went 10-12 overall and 1-3 in Big East conference play during Kissell-Eddins’ tenure as interim coach. She led Pitt to the school’s first win over Rutgers, and her team’s four-match win streak was the program’s longest winning streak since the 2007-08 season. In postseason play, the Panthers reached the quarterfinals in the Big East Tournament for the first time in program history.

Kissell-Eddins played for national power University of Miami from 2007 until 2009, before transferring to Marshall University, where she finished her career and broke numerous Thundering Herd records. She finished with a combined singles and doubles record of 110-41 for the Herd, and made the NCAA Tournament as a junior and a senior in singles and doubles.

Kissell-Eddins was a First Team All-Conference USA performer both years at Marshall and was named the 2010 Conference USA Newcomer of the Year. She also was recognized as the 2011 Conference USA Spirit of Service recipient for her good academic standing, community service outreach and performance on the court. She was the No. 1 ranked player in the Atlantic region both years at Marshall. Kissell-Eddins spent the 2011-12 season as assistant coach at Cornell University.