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April 18, 2010

Slade earns region MVP as Jaguars take second place

Georgia Perimeter College’s Mary Slade capped an outstanding tennis season by winning her flight at the NJCAA Region 17 tournament and earning the women’s most valuable player award.

Mary Slade, center, and Maria Ferri took the doubles trophy. GPC coach Mohamed Nait Omar looks on at right.

Slade, who lost only one singles match all season, defeated Alejandra Gamboa of region champion Abraham Baldwin College 6-2, 6-0 in the finals for No. 1 players on each squad.

She also took the doubles title with partner Maria Ferri, downing Abraham Baldwin’s Keri Huett and Beatriz Miranda 6-3, 6-3 in the finals on ABAC’s campus in Tifton.

“She had an exceptional weekend,” coach Mohamed Nait Omar said Sunday of Slade. “She basically dominated the whole season. She was very consistent on her ground strokes, and she’s gotten better at closing her matches.”

Slade paced the Lady Jaguars to second place in the regional team standings behind ABAC, which advances to the nationals.

Other results: Maria Casseres won her first match against Gordon College and lost the second round to ABAC’s Huett. Ferri won the first match over Brianna Brinkley of Young Harris College but lost the second round to ABAC’s Miranda. Voyka Milosavljavic won the first round, defeating YHC’s Holly Smith and lost the second match to ABAC’s Jahyna Pope.

Andreina Gomez lost the first round to YHC’s Michelle Allen. Kathryn Spratlin won the firstmatch against YHC’s Mary Maxwell and lost the second round to ABAC’s Lauren Smith.

Casseres and Milosavljavic lost the first doubles round to YHC’s Smith and Sarah Deese. Gomez and Spratlin won the first round against YHC’s Allen/Maxwell and lost the second round to ABAC’s Pope and Marley Myers.

“These results really speak for how well our tennis program is doing and the progress we have made,” Nait Omar said. Referring also to the GPC men, who finished third, he added, “I am extremely proud of both teams.”

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April 13, 2010

Lady Jaguars get set for Region 17 tourney

NJCAA Division 1 Region 17 women’s tennis has been owned by Abraham Baldwin College for years. The Fillies have won a long string of Division 1 region tournament championships since the mid-1990s, and they usually enjoy the comforts of home in hosting the event.

Mary Slade

But Georgia Perimeter College won eleven region titles in Division 2 competition beginning in the 1980s under then coach Joyce Garrett, and the Jaguars won the national championship in 2000. Garrett is among only 24 coaches who have been inducted to the NJCAA Women’s Tennis Hall of Fame.

Current coach Reda Nait Omar aims eventually to bring the trophies back to Georgia Perimeter, and he’s not taking his team to Abraham Baldwin’s campus in Tifton this weekend with a concession speech prepared.

“I think they’re beatable,” he said of the Fillies, ranked sixth in the national junior college polls. “We need to take the doubles and send a message we mean business in singles.”

The Jaguars ended their regular season at 5-4 with a confidence-building 9-0 whitewash of Gordon College. It provided a matching bookend to the year, which began with a shutout of Spartanburg Methodist.

“The mind-set is very good,” Nait Omar said. “Our players are still talking about that last match.”

The coach attributed a midseason swoon to inclement weather curtailing practice for the young team, which has only one sophomore. GPC won its final two competitions to close over .500.

Maria Casseres

In the regionals, “Doubles is gonna be huge for us,” Nait Omar said. “For us to win, we have to come through in doubles.”

Local product Mary Slade (Blessed Trinity High) and Maria Casseres of Venezuela have delivered doubles points all season. They could be tested by the ABAC duo of Monika Lalewicz and Alejandra Gamboa, rated fifth in the country.

Maria Ferri of Spain and Voyka Milosavljavic of Venezuela comprise GPC’s second doubles team. The other is made up of two metro Atlantans—Venezuela native Andreina Gomez (Sprayberry High) and Kathryn Spratlin (St. Pius X).

In singles, Slade has been a terror, losing one match all season—in a three-set tie-breaker.

“Tough, very strong,” said Omar Nait, who cautioned that Slade must avoid a habit of building a sizable lead and relaxing. “In regionals she can’t do that,” he said. That’s especially true if she confronts ABAC’s Lalewicz, ranked second in the nation.

At. No. 2 singles, Casseres has “come a long way,” he said. “She closed some big matches by buckling down. For a first-year player, that shows a lot.”

Ferri, the No. 3 singes player, has coped with a sore elbow this season. Milosavljavic, at No. 4, is the lone sophomore. Gomez will handle the fifth spot, followed by Spratlin.

The late-season surge has generated momentum for the Jaguars entering the regionals, where a strong Young Harris College also stands in the way between GPC and a title. “I see a big improvement in our confidence,” Nait Omar said.

Going against mighty Abraham Baldwin, that’s an essential ingredient.

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April 3, 2010

Jaguars perfect 9-0 day after close match

Showing little fatigue from a narrow tennis win less than 24 hours earlier, the Georgia Perimeter College women’s team enjoyed its most complete day of the season Saturday by downing Gordon College 9-0 on the Dunwoody Campus courts.

The Jaguars never came close to dropping a set during the seven matches in improving to 5-4.

Mary Slade was GPC’s most dominant performer, winning 6-0, 6-0 in singles and 8-0 in doubles alongside Maria Ferri.

Ferri triumphed in singles 6-1, 6-1, along with Maria Casseres (6-0, 6-0), Voyka Milosavljavic (6-2, 6-2) and Andreina Gomez (6-2, 6-1).

Casseres and Milosavljavic notched an 8-2 win in doubles. GPC’s remaining two points came by default because Gordon was shy one player.

The matches concluded the Jaguars’ current regular season schedule, though Coach Reda Nait Omar indicated he is seeking another opponent prior to the Region 17 tournament April 17-18 in Tifton.

The Jaguars’ home tennis matches are played at GPC’s Dunwoody Campus, 2101 Womack Road, Dunwoody, Ga., 30338.

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April 2, 2010

Jaguars top Central Alabama

The Georgia Perimeter College women’s tennis team put itself in position for a winning season with a thrilling 5-4 win Friday over Central Alabama Community College.

The Jaguars (4-4) close out their schedule before the Region 17 tournament with a 10 a.m. match Saturday at home against Gordon College.

Mary Slade and Maria Ferri accounted for three of GPC’s points. Slade took her singles match 6-1, 6-1 and Ferri claimed hers 6-2, 6-4. They joined for an 8-4 doubles triumph on the Dunwoody campus courts.

A key singles match involved Kathyrn Spratlin, whose 6-2, 6-3 win was her finest performance of the season, according to Coach Reda Nait Omar. He said Maria Casseres was consistently outstanding in her 6-2, 6-1 victory.

GPC had to overcome a 2-1 deficit after the doubles matches. Casseres and Voyka Milosavljavic fell 8-6, while Spratlin and andreina Gomez dropped an 8-1 decision.

Gomez lost in singles 6-2, 6-3, as did Milosavljavic 6-2, 6-1.

The Jaguars’ home tennis matches are played at GPC’s Dunwoody Campus, 2101 Womack Road, Dunwoody, Ga., 30338.

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March 27, 2010

Shorter shuts out Lady Jaguars despite Slade’s best efforts

He who hesitates is lost. And, in the case of the Georgia Perimeter College women’s tennis team, she who hesitated at the net lost Saturday.

The Jaguars (3-4) were downed 9-0 by Shorter College in Rome because they were hesitant on their volleys, according to Coach Reda Omar. The Lady Hawks (14-4), ranked 18th in NAIA (a division for four-year colleges), had an easy time except when Mary Slade was on the court.

Slade extended her singles opponent to a third-set tiebreaker before running out of gas 2-6, 6-2, 10-8. In doubles, she and Maria Ferri fell 8-6.

The Jaguars’ Kathryn Spratlin managed to earn three points in a 6-1, 6-2 singles setback. No other teammate was able to win more than a single point in their matches.

GPC tries to pull back to a .500 record Friday against Central Alabama Community College. The competition begins at 1 p.m. on the Dunwoody Campus.

The Jaguars’ home tennis matches are played at GPC’s Dunwoody Campus, 2101 Womack Road, Dunwoody, Ga., 30338.

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March 20, 2010

Jaguars aced by powerful ABAC

Georgia Perimeter College grabbed a pair of singles wins against women’s tennis power Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, but eventually stumbled to the visitors 7-2 Saturday on the Dunwoody Campus.

Mary Slade triumphed 6-2, 6-2 and Maria Casseres 6-1, 6-3 for the Jaguars (3-3) in their first matches in 16 days. ABAC, perennial champion of NJCAA Region 17, swept the rest.

In singles, Kathryn Spratlin and Maria Ferri came closest, each losing 6-3, 6-2. Voyka Milosavljavic lost 6-2, 6-2 and Andreina Gomez 6-1, 6-0.

The Fillies took all three doubles points, though Slade-Ferri pushed their opponents into extra time, losing 9-7. Casseres-Milosavljavic were beaten 8-2 and Gomez-Spratlin 8-1.

GPC has another week before Shorter College drops by the Dunwoody Campus next Saturday for a 1 p.m. encounter.

The Jaguars’ home tennis matches are played at GPC’s Dunwoody Campus, 2101 Womack Road, Dunwoody, Ga., 30338.

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March 4, 2010

Casseres, Ferri, Gomez pace Lady Jaguars past Young Harris

Catching the Young Harris College women’s tennis team in a rare rebuilding year, Georgia Perimeter College waltzed to an 8-1 win Thursday on its Clarkston courts.

Many matches were closer than the final score indicated, and the schools’ heated rivalry made for some intense tennis, according to GPC coach Reda Omar.

Maria Casseres and Maria Ferri outlasted their foes to account for three GPC points. Casseres took her singles match 7-5, 6-1, and Ferri 6-3, 6-2. They united for a 9-7 doubles victory.

Andrieina Gomez also contributed a pair of points, winning 6-2, 6-2 and singles and pairing with Voyka Milosavljavic in doubles 8-3.

The most thrilling match was Kathryn Spratlin’s 5-7, 7-5, 7-6 7-6 (10-7) marathoner. Mary Slade won twice from the sideline, her opponent withdrawing because of injury.

GPC moved to 3-2 while Young Harris, which has finished first or second in nine Region 17 tournaments since 1997, dipped to 0-8.

The Jaguars kick back until March 20. Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College drops by the Dunwoody campus for a Saturday encounter.

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February 27, 2010

Jaguars turn tables on Oxford

On the ride Saturday to play Emory of Oxford, Georgia Perimeter College left home the timid shotmaking that led to its women’s tennis downfall the week before.

Mary Slade

The visiting team prevailed again as GPC (2-2) evened the score against Emory with a 7-2 win. Last week Oxford, playing on Georgia Perimeter’s courts, defeated the Jaguars 5-4.

Following that loss, coach Reda Omar urged the Jaguars to not hold back on shots. If they were struck well and didn’t produce a point, so be it.

The Jaguars got plenty of points at Oxford. GPC took four of six singles matches: Mary Slade 6-2, 6-1; Maria Ferri 6-0, 6-1; Maria Casseres 6-4, 6-2, and Kate Spradlin 6-3, 6-3.

Slade and Ferri were just as effective as a doubles tandem, winning 8-3. Andriena Gomez and Voyka Milosavljevic, each defeated in singles, helped contribute points in doubles. Gomez, with Spratlin alongside, won 8-4. Milosavljevic, teamed with Casseres, triumphed 8-2.

The Jaguars make up a snowed-out encounter with Young Harris College at 4 p.m. Thursday on the Clarkston Campus. The Dunwoody Courts, where they usually play matches, will be unavailable at that time.

Thursday’s men’s and women’s tennis matches will be played at GPC’s Clarkston Campus, 555 North Indian Creek Drive, Clarkston, GA 30021.

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February 20, 2010

Oxford drops Jaguars 5-4

Despite the efforts of its two most prominent players, the Georgia Perimeter College women’s tennis team was unable to overcome Emory of Oxford, which claimed a 5-4 win Saturday on the Jaguars’ Clarkston courts.

Mary Slade and Edel Marie Ferri won their singles standoffs, Slade by 6-3, 6-1 and Ferri by 6-1, 6-2. They hooked up for an 8-4 victory in doubles.

But their teammates could produce only one more point on Maria Casseres’ 6-3, 6-4 win in singles.

GPC’s fourth-through-sixth seeds were unable to deliver. Voyka Milosavljevic fell 6-0, 6-1, Andrienda Gomez 6-2, 7-5 and Taiwo Adeshigbin 7-5, 6-3.

The Casseres-Milosavljevic doubles tandem lost 8-5, while Gomez-Adeshigbin succumbed 8-3.

Suffering their second loss in two days, the Jaguars (1-2) have a week to prepare for a rematch with Emory of Oxford away from home.

The next home date features a match with Young Harris College on March 2 at 1:30 p.m.

The Jaguars’ home tennis matches are played at GPC’s Dunwoody Campus, 2101 Womack Road, Dunwoody, Ga., 30338.

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February 19, 2010

Jaguars fall to Jacksonville squad

The visitors came out swinging—aggressively. By comparison, Georgia Perimeter College’s strokes were tentative. As a result, Florida Community College at Jacksonville scored a 6-3 win in women’s tennis Friday on GPC’s Dunwoody Campus.

The Stars—with more seasoning this season, having played five matches—showed more edge against the Jaguars (1-1). GPC swung the rackets well, according to coach Reda Omar, but came up tight in several deuce situations, enabling FCCJ to take all but one of the individual matches.

The only Jaguar winner was Mary Slade by 6-0, 6-2. GPC collected two more points when the Stars did not field a third doubles or sixth singles entry.

The Jaguars were competitive in both doubles encounters. Slade and Adel Maria Ferri fell 8-5, as did Maria Casseres and Voyka Milosavljavic.

The other singles setbacks weren’t quite so close: Ferri 6-1, 6-0; Casseres 6-1, 6-3; Milosavljavic 6-0, 6-0, and Andriena Gomez 6-0, 6-1.

The Jaguars are back on the courts Saturday with a 10 a.m. home match against Emory of Oxford. The GPC men also take on Emory.

The Jaguars’ home tennis matches are played at GPC’s Dunwoody Campus, 2101 Womack Road, Dunwoody, Ga., 30338.

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February 15, 2010

Jaguars enjoy newfound depth this season

Last season the Georgia Perimeter College women’s tennis team could have ridden to road matches in a compact car. Only four players met the standards of coach Mohamed “Reda” Nait Omar, and the Jaguars’ runner-up finish in the Region 17 tournament for state schools was a remarkable achievement.

Voyka Milosavljavic

Now, he needs an SUV-sized vehicle to transport the Jaguars. Omar suits up the standard six players for matches—and has four others in reserve.

“Depth on this team is what’s stronger,” the coach said after the Jaguars opened with a 9-0 whitewashing of Spartanburg (S.C.) Methodist College.

Of last year’s quartet, only Voyka Milosavljavic of Venezuela remains. She is the squad’s sole sophomore after Yooha Nam, Bich Vi Truong and Maria Bagnati graduated.

Nait Omar signed another two other Venezuelan natives—Maria Romero and Andreina Gomez—plus Maria Ferri of Spain and Isolina Ottavi of Australia.

“It’s the U.N. [United Nations] team,” said Nait Omar, noting that Spanish is the squad’s second (and sometimes first) language. “That’s our nickname.”

Bringing some local flavor to the cast is Mary Slade, who hails from Blessed Trinity High in Alpharetta. She attended—but did not play at—Auburn University a year ago.

Gomez, too, was rusty, having not competed in a while. “She’s back on top of her game,” Nait Omar said of the Sprayberry High product.

The newcomers give GPC a fighting chance against region powerhouse Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College. ABAC placed sixth in the national tournament.

“They are always stacked. I can compete with them from [players)] 1 through 3,” Nait Omar said, while emphasizing that the talent gap between GPC’s Nos. 1 and 6 players is shrinking.

ABAC is not the only school standing between the Jaguars and a return trip to the nationals, which would mark their first since 2003. (They were national champions in 2000.)

Young Harris College is another contender. The two teams were scheduled to go head-to-head Saturday, but Friday’s snowfall postponed the match.

The Jaguars, with a nearly all-freshmen roster, might be a year away from unseating ABAC, Nait Omar acknowledged. He added, “We’re going to try and beat them, of course.”

Georgia Perimeter hosts a match with Florida Community College Friday at 4 p.m. Saturday the Jaguars again play on their home court, meeting Emory of Oxford at 10 a.m.

The Jaguars’ home tennis matches are played at GPC’s Dunwoody Campus, 2101 Womack Road, Dunwoody, Ga., 30338.

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February 12, 2010

Saturday tennis matches postponed

The Saturday tennis matches for men and women have been postponed due to inclement weather.

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February 6, 2010

GPC wins opener 9-0

It was a perfect start to the Georgia Perimeter College women’s tennis season.

The Jaguars blanked Spartanburg Methodist College 9-0 Saturday in their opener on the Dunwoody campus. Voyka Milosavljavic, the lone holdover from last year’s Region 17 runner-up, joined five newcomers to sweep the visitors in six singles and three doubles matches.

Georgia Perimeter could not have attained such a score last season because only four players competed. As a result, the Jaguars forfeited one doubles and two singles matches at each outing.

With a full contingent of players, GPC won every set against Spartanburg. The only player who was pressed: Isolin Ottavi, who took her singles encounter 6-1, 7-5.

Other victors were Mary Slade (6-1, 6-0), Maria Casseres (6-2 6-1), Andreina Gomez (6-1, 6-1), Adel Maria Ferri (6-0, 6-0) and Milosavljevic (6-0, 6-1).

Inclement weather did not phase the doubles pairs, either. Slade-Ferri and Casseres-Milosavljevic won 8-0, while Gomez-Ottovi triumphed 8-1.

The Jaguars’ home tennis matches are played at GPC’s Dunwoody Campus, 2101 Womack Road, Dunwoody, Ga., 30338.

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