By Christina Caselle

After putting away the 100th win of her career, co-captain Megan Stauffer ’06 and the rest of the Fairfield women’s tennis team stepped onto the courts this past weekend in hopes of securing another win.

Since 1999, no male or female tennis player at Fairfield University has succeeded in reaching more than 100 wins.

It wasn’t until Stauffer defeated Emily Bedrosian from Bentley College on Wednesday, March 15 that Stauffer exceeded the 100-win total of single and double victories.

“I was very excited,” said Stauffer. “I worked very hard over the past four years and it was a personal goal of mine to accomplish.”

“Many of my wins have come from doubles so it was not just a personal accomplishment. It came from having several talented partners that work just as hard as I do.”

Stauffer won both of her doubles matches this weekend when she and her partner Alexis Accomando 07′ defeated Loyola’s Amy Nitch and Jessica Liberatore with an 8-5 win on Saturday and defeated Rider University’s twins Caitlin and Devin Crawbuck 8-5 on Sunday.

“I think that as a duo we continue to get better on the court,” said Stauffer. “I thought that we played exceptionally well together and it was a good win for us.”

Last year, Stauffer earned an ITA Scholar-Athlete Award and a place on the New York Lottery/MAAC All-Academic Team. In the 2003-2004 season, Stauffer won her last match on the court in the MAAC Championship match in three sets, giving Fairfield its first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance.

“Megan has become a much more well-rounded player during her college career,” said Head Tennis Coach Jeffrey Wyshner. “Developing her volleys and other doubles skills is one of the key reasons why she was able to reach 100 wins.”

Although Stauffer won both of her doubles matches this past weekend with partner Accomando, she fell short in both of her single matches against Loyola and Rider University.

According to Stauffer, Devin Crawbuck, who had defeated her last year, is the No. 2 seed for Rider and is extremely consistent. Stauffer, who said she is content with her performance, felt she played better against Crawbuck this year.

“She has worked very hard to improve,” said Wyshner, “and her commitment to improving has always rubbed off on her teammates.”

In the days leading up to a match, Stauffer keeps up on the scores of her future opponents so she will have some idea as to how well she should do when competing against them.

According to co-captain Christina Chacharone ’06, Stauffer is a tough match player who is always ready and motivated to work hard in practice.

“She loves being here and is so welcoming to new players on the team,” said teammate Michelle Geller ’07. “She always wants to improve and helps others improve as well.”

A senior graduating in May, Stauffer will return home to work in her family business. Stauffer hopes that the incoming freshmen tennis players will keep their heads up and not get frustrated.

“It’s about the experience as a whole and enjoying yourself,” said Stauffer, “not just about winning.”

With the season coming to a close, the women’s tennis team will be facing off with four more matches in the coming weeks.

According to Stauffer, it is important to maintain the hard work and make an effort to keep focused, but to also keep things light and have fun.

“I love the sport, so whether I win or lose I am still having fun. The rest just falls into place,” she said.

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