On Mar. 24, the women’s tennis team will be competing against Quincy University at the XS Tennis Club in Chicago. At their last matchup against Quincy during the Spring 2022 season, they won 6-1.
The team currently has 9 wins and only 1 loss against the women’s tennis team at Quincy. For their last 10 matchups with Quincy, they currently have a 9-1 winning streak.
“Every team is different this year, so we can’t underestimate our opponents,” said graduate student majoring in clinical mental health counseling Anastasiya Salenko. “I have no idea [how we’ll do] because I think the team from Quincy is stronger this year.”
This year, the team has been doing better, in terms of their overall performance in the matches. At last year’s match against Quincy, for the first doubles match, it was Salenko and Casey Smith versus QU’s Blanca Salas Cruz and Laila Leist-Alston. The match resulted in Salenko and Smith winning 7-5.
At that match, for the second singles match, it was Salenko versus QU’s Steffi Lao. In the first set, Salenko had an amazing success in a 6-0 win. For the second set, Salenko won 6-2.
At their previous match against the University of St. Francis on March 16, they defeated the fighting saints 5-2.
In terms of their match against St. Francis, for Salenko’s singles match against USF’s Gabriella Noa, she won both sets 6-2.
For the first doubles match of that game, it was Smith and Salenko against USF’s Anna Bintsarovskaya and Lieke Coenen. The match resulted in another great victory for Smith and Salenko winning 7-6.
“Casey Smith is my partner for the doubles matches and we’ve been practicing since we’re really good friends,” said Salenko. “We do basic things before matches like practicing volleys and we also practice formations.”
For the fifth singles match, it was Jovana Vujanic versus USF’s Heather Heintz. For both sets, Vujanic won 6-2. For the second doubles match, it was Anabel Aguilar and Sage Hills against USF’s Denisse Lizano and Noa. For their match, Aguilar and Hills won 6-2.
Many of the athletes on the team have been training and working hard on certain things individually. For Salenko, she has been attending practices and supporting her teammates.
“I’m usually doing great this season at all of my matches, so I usually don’t do any preparation,” said Salenko. “I mean you can see it in my results.”
In terms of their preparation for this season, they have been training as hard as they can for their upcoming match with Quincy.
“I think the best way to prepare is to go into practice, so the more you practice, the stronger you become,” said Salenko. “We usually try to work on stuff which isn’t working sometimes and isn’t going to go well, so we try to practice more on things like backhands and forehands.”
As student athletes, even if their body is sore or if they have minor injuries, they are still expected to play in the matches because there are no substitutes when it comes to playing tennis.
“My shoulder hurts, my wrist hurts, my ankle hurts, but I’m still playing,” said Salenko. “We had an athlete play even with injuries because every athlete counts on the team.”
Generally speaking, the team has a good feeling about how well they’ll play at the upcoming matches this season.
“As I said, I have no idea how Quincy will do this year,” said Salenko. “I know that Quincy has a strong girl on the team and she played in Grand Valley last year, so I don’t know what to expect.”
On Mar. 25, the team will play singles and doubles matches against the team from Missouri Baptist University, which is their first ever match with this school.
Photo Credits: Steve Woltmann