HAMDEN, Conn. – Sophia Dzulynsky (Miramar, Fla.) and Kelsi Oliphant (Calgary, Alberta, Canada) have each signed a national letter of intent to play for the Quinnipiac University women's tennis team as announced by veteran head coach Mike Quitko. They will join the Bobcat roster this fall and look to make an immediate impact in the program's inaugural season within the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC).
Dzulynsky comes to Quinnipiac after experiencing competition professionally overseas, followed by a season at the collegiate level as well. After a brief stint in Turkey, Dzulynsky joined the Syracuse University women's tennis team in January for the 2013 spring season. She finished the year 2-4 in singles competition and 4-6 in doubles competition, primarily playing No. 5 singles and No. 3 doubles. The Orange captured fifth place in the BIG EAST Tournament in April.
"We are excited for Sophia to join the team," said Quitko. "She is a great athlete that has elite level skill because of her experiences over in Turkey and at Syracuse. Sophia's future at Quinnipiac is very bright as we see potential in her both on and off the court. She is going to make a great Bobcat."
While at Syracuse, Dzulynsky recorded her first of three wins in singles competition against Georgia Tech's Jasmine Minor, 7-5, 3-6, 1-0 (11-9). Predominantly paired with teammate Jimena Wu, the duo went on to claim four wins in doubles throughout the season – highlighted by an 8-4 win against West Virginia. Prior to her time in Turkey and at Syracuse, Dzulynsky was a five-star recruit and ranked as high as No. 45 on Tennis Recruiting. She is a Mass Communications major and has a twin brother who plays tennis for the Cornhuskers at Nebraska.
Oliphant also brings international experience with her to Quinnipiac's roster in 2013-14. She has trained and competed in Canada, Korea and France with the support of her two national coaches, Peter Smythe and Dietmar Rautenbach. Under their direction, Oliphant was ranked No. 23 in the Canadian Rogers census, while competing in 12 Canadian National Championships as well. An Alberta Provincial Champion in singles and doubles, she has been ranked fourth or better for the past five seasons, which included a No. 1 ranking in her final season as the top 17-18 year old player.
"We are very happy to have Kelsi join our team next fall," Quitko said. "She has a dynamic, all-court game that I am excited to see develop even further. She also brings a strong work ethic and a hard-working mentality with her as well. She is going to be a great addition to our program."
Oliphant graduated from Bishop Carroll High School where she was a devoted student-athlete on the Cardinals tennis team. In addition, Oliphant was a dedicated member of the Calgary Winter Club, where she was selected as the Most Improved Player in back-to-back seasons. She also volunteers and coaches the junior tennis programs at both the Calgary Winter Club and the Glencoe Club as well. She is enrolled in Quinnipiac's Business program and will major in marketing this fall.
The Bobcats posted a 4-1 record in the Northeast Conference play and earned the No. 2 seed in the 2013 Northeast Conference Tournament. The Bobcats defeated Mount St. Mary's 4-0 in the quarterfinals and then knocked off LIU Brooklyn in the semifinals to advance to their 13th NEC Championship match. Quinnipiac finished the 2012-13 season with a record of 12-9, while winning nearly 60 percent of the time at singles and nearly 70 percent of the time at doubles.