A Fresh Team for Women’s Tennis

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By Elise Person

Staff Writer

The women’s tennis team has kicked off their fall season, and with only one returning player from the 2018-2019 roster, members of the team are looking to make a name for themselves in the Northeast Conference.

The women’s tennis team did not have any players transfer from Brooklyn to Post after the merge between the two campuses. Junior Veronika Koudelkova was the only player who stayed from Post to play as a Shark. This left Head Coach Jan Griga with an entire roster to fill. However, Coach Griga believes he did a great job bringing in players and filling an exceptional roster.

“I don’t know if it’s luck because sometimes, when you’re recruiting, it’s a little bit of a coin toss. You don’t know what you’re gonna get. I have to say I must have outdone myself because they have all came and exceeded my expectations,” Griga said.

With a new recruiting class, most of the new team members are freshmen. Five out of eight team members are first-year players. However, Coach Griga does not see this as a point of concern. If anything, he is excited about his talented, young class. “It’s a very strong team and they’re all looking really good,” he said.

The Sharks saw their first day of live play on Friday, Sept. 13 at the Columbia Invitational. Coach Griga was very pleased with their level of play.

“I was pleasantly surprised with the way everybody turned out, and with the attitude, and the fight, and [the] work ethic that everyone showed in the matches. But there is obviously a lot of work ahead,” he said.

Coach Griga is focused on making sure his team’s players have everything they need to be successful in their upcoming season. A priority of his, that he believes will set the Sharks apart from their competition, is physical toughness. Griga wants his players to be in peak shape to outlast and outperform even the most difficult of opponents.

“We’re going to come across pressure situations and tight matches where the freshman might run into playing more experienced opponents,” he said. “I want to be able to lean on our physicality and on our hard work and endurance to try and compensate in that area. If we’re stronger and fitter than the other team, then we will be able to outlast them when it comes down to the wire.”

Over the weekend, the team traveled down the road to the Hofstra Invitational. Here, the Sharks made many positive strides in their season. Both Valentina Dancenco and Sofiia Kuzina won singles titles. In doubles, this pair made it to the championship fight but fell to Hofstra players Brown and King with a score of 4-6.

The Sharks look forward to traveling down to the UNC Charlotte Invitational on Friday, Oct. 11, where Coach Griga will bring four of his eight players. He is excited to bring his players to a place where they can experience a new level of competition, include playing teams such as Princeton University.

The Sharks will finish out their fall season in West Point, New York at the ITA Regionals hosted by Army.

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