As women’s tennis enters Horizon League play, the team remains confident

Despite major struggles during non-conference play, the women’s tennis team believes they can win it all

The Cleveland State University women’s tennis team encountered a rough stretch at the start of their season. The Vikings struggled in their slate of non-Horizon League games, culminating in a record of 7-9 through March.

Cleveland State looked to get their season back on track as they began facing Horizon League opponents in April.

On Apr. 1, the Vikings got off to a good start in Horizon League play as they defeated Oakland 6-1. The story of the match was their success in doubles as the No. 1 and No. 3 teams set the pace early on. Senior Klara Mrcela and freshman Sima Heren are tied for the doubles-wins lead this season with nine apiece.

Mrcela, who helped Cleveland State in their victory over Oakland, said that her team was able to enter league plays confidently despite their tough early-season stretch.

“Although we had a very tough schedule leading up to conference play, the entire team has stayed very positive and has entered league play with a lot of courage,” Mrcela said. “It is safe to say that every player on the team is proud of themselves and proud of each other.”

Senior Klara Mrcela hits the ball during a home match versus Oakland. Photo courtesy of Vikings Athletics

With their win over Oakland, the Vikings showed an ability to bounce back when faced with adversity. Mrcela believes that one of the contributing factors to her teams’ toughness is their chemistry.

“The biggest advantage of the team this year is the team chemistry,” Mrcela said. “With our team caring for one another, it is easier to stay focused and to push through.”

Cleveland State will continue their Horizon League play as they face IUPUI on Saturday, April 9, and Northern Kentucky on April 10. As the Vikings continue their season, Mrcela believes that the key to success is aiming for the highest goal.

“(The key to success) is to keep believing that we have the capability and the heart to win this conference championship,” Mrcela said. “Why not us?”

With five games left in conference play and the Horizon League tournament quickly coming up, the team is really looking to put the beginning of the season behind them. A strong win over Oakland to start conference play does beg the question, why not them?

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