By Briana Oldham
The Cleveland State women’s tennis team took March and April by storm with a current record of 7-4 complete with an impressive 5 game win streak. Overall on the season, the Vikings are 11-11.
Senior Aleksandra Golawska spoke candidly about the season.
“We have had to overcome a lot of adversity with injuries and players leaving throughout the season,” Golawska said. “But we fought through it and found a way to come together as a team and ended up having a fantastic season.”
Despite the challenges, she and the team are hoping to use how well they’ve performed recently as a stepping stone for a postseason push. Golawska has compiled a 17-13 overall record this year and has posted an 11-10 record this spring.
Another top performer, junior Isabella Spindler, improved to 19-12 overall this season after the completion of their April 21 match.
Spindler has a team-best 13-8 record this spring and has now won eight of her last nine matches. Spindler is also 7-1 against league opponents at No. 1 singles this season.
Head Coach Brian Etzkin agrees there have been hardships, but believes the teams’ shift in momentum is what has them firing on all cylinders. One of the biggest takeaways for Etzkin has been the strength and resilience one develops in the face of adversity as a student athlete.
“Overcoming [adversity] is one of the biggest lessons you learn as an athlete. When you have a small lineup, or maybe any size lineup, sticking together is so important,” Etzkin states. “I think the team is doing a great job of that.”
Even with such a small roster, the team has put up big numbers. The Vikings won multiple matches by 7, one by 6 and three by 5 points.
When asked if there is a preference among her teammates for singles or doubles and indoor or outdoor, Golawska mentions the team is split on both.
“Singles and doubles are both very different to play. Doubles is faster, and it’s mostly about finishing the point at the net. Singles requires you to try and out-compete your opponent,” Golawska said. “As far the outdoor or indoor debate, while some feel as though weather conditions are a viable asset in play, with a new indoor court, there are those who enjoy playing on an indoor court just as much.”
As the team moves into the postseason, Golawska says the team is confident in their abilities.
“We have to continue training hard, but we are feeling confident going into the postseason. We know it will be a challenge because there are great teams in our league,” Golawska said. “However, I know myself and my teammates are prepared and willing to do whatever it takes to try to bring the championship back to Cleveland.”
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