Panthers return home to face Brown

By Jonathan Jacobskind/ Staff Writer

sports@fiusm.com

Fresh off a 5-2 victory over Sun Belt foe and rival, Florida Atlantic University, FIU (5-12) will look to keep up their winning ways against Ivy League standout, Brown University. The Bears strolls into South Florida and will do to battle against the Panthers on March 30 at the FIU Panther Tennis Center. The match time is slated for 1pm.

The Bears, who are projected as the 40th ranked team in the nation. They will be the fourth Ivy league school that the Panthers will have faced in their 2012 campaign. The Panthers are 1-2 against the Ivy League opponents, both losses stemming from a 2-4 loss the former Ivy League champion, Yale and a 2-5 defeat to Columbia. The Panther’s sole Ivy League victory came against Penn, when they capped a 4-3 win.

“We are going out there and I want to win those seven points, I feel like the team is getting stronger has each match is progressing.” Applebaum-Dallau stated on preparation for the Brown match. “It’s a matter of keep building on our games and little by little it will all come together.”

The Brown Bears have yet to play a match against a team within the Ivy League. The Bears mustered up a 4-3 record against Ivy League competition in the 2011 season and overall registered a 15-9 record. They finished the year tied for 3rd place sharing the spot in the standings with the Harvard behind Dartmouth and conference champ, Yale who just defeated the Panthers in a 2-4 loss on March 16.

In preparation for the match on Wednesday, team leader Lisa Johnson has been participating in intense individual work in practice leading up to the square off against the Bears.

“Individually I’ve been working primarily on my fitness and consistency for the Brown match.” Johnson said. “I know [Brown] is a tough team so I definitely have to stay fit and consistent throughout the match.”

Coach Applebaum-Dallau stresses that it’s not solely on winning or losing when finishing these final two games on a high note in order to gain some motivation for the upcoming Sun Belt Tournament.

“When trying to finish on a high note to me it’s not necessarily about a win or loss, but I think it’s more about going out there and each girl feeling their games, and feeling confident that they can hit any ball they want.” Applebaum-Dallau stated. “It also has to do with how we train…I believe were one of the more fit teams especially in our conference.”

The Panthers will need another resilient effort by the Panthers other star Senior, Christine Seredni if it looks to go to 2-0 in its final two games before they launch their mission for a monumental 6th Sun Belt title.

“I think we’re all playing better and better.” Seredni preached. “We’re gelling together more as a team and we’re also just trying to have a lot of fun out there as well and finish strong.”

The Bears are led by the dynamic duo of Miami native Junior, Cassandra Herzberg and California bred Sophmore, Bianca Aboubakare. Both girls were bestowed the honor of All-Ivy League second team for their remarkable 2011 season.

Lisa Johnson and Christine Seredni, who will be paired up against Herzberg and Aboubakare are not fazed by Brown’s dynamic duo or the team’s ranking.

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