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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Women’s Tennis poised for another fantastic season

<rleton Women’s Tennis might be the most underrated sports program on our campus. Coming off of back-to-back MIAC regular season championships, these talented women are poised to have another outstanding season. Lead by Alana Danieu ’18, Danielle Vasiliev ’18, Kristina Conrad ’19 and Madeline Prins ’20 among others, the players are looking to avenge their back-to-back losses to Gustavus Adolphus in the MIAC playoffs and advance to nationals this spring.

Already off to a 1-0 start with a victory over St. Mary’s last week, Women’s Tennis has started strong, but still believe they have some things to improve on to succeed in the MIAC playoffs at the end of this year. When asked about what needs to improve, Danieu, Vasiliev, Conrad and Prins all agreed that improving their doubles play will be vital to their success.

“To win MIACs this year, we need to improve in doubles, especially with our movements,” Prins said. “The doubles teams need to have good chemistry and high energy, and we need to focus on playing with strategy instead of just power.” Vasiliev added that the team as a whole also “needs to have the right mindset going into matches. When we aren’t tight, we all play a lot better,” she said. Danieu contributed that their preparation in practice will be key to winning the MIAC as well. “To win the MIAC, we just need to focus on working hard in practice and preparing well,” she said. “If we don’t focus too much on outcomes, hopefully everything will come together for us at the end of the season.”

Team and personal goals for this season were different among the student-athletes. On one hand, Conrad did not mention winning the MIAC and going to nationals as one of her goals. Instead, she focused on mentality. “As a team, I would like us all to compete hard in every match, and focus less on the outcome.” she said. “This also is a personal goal of mine—not getting caught up with the score, but just playing my game.”

On the other hand, Danieu, who is in her last season playing for Carleton, wants to finish her time at Carleton on a high note. “As a team goal, it would be really exciting to win both the conference and the playoff tournament (qualify for Nationals),” she said. “Personally, I just want to enjoy my last season and have fun on the court with my teammates.” Prins added that her team goal is to win the MIAC and have a chance to go to nationals, but ultimately, she wants “a team that is just really tight-knit.”

For her personal success, Prins wants “to begin working towards a faster-paced game,” she said. “Last year I worked a loton improving my consistency, and so this year I want to try to take that to a higher level.”

During spring break this year, both the Carleton Men and Women’s tennis teams will be traveling to Hilton Head, SC. For Conrad, Danieu and Vasiliev, this is the experience they said that they were most excited for. “I’m excited for spring break,” Vasiliev said. “It will be fun playing some tough matches and hanging out with the guy’s tennis team in Hilton Head.” In addition, Prins and Conrad explained that the one of the things they are most looking forward to is just being around their teammates. “I am most looking forward to just spending time with the girls,” Prins said. “We end up doing a lot of activities together outside of tennis because we are together so often (studying, shopping, traveling to matches, eating, etc.). It was my favorite thing about last year, and I hope it’s going to be just as fun this year.”

Carleton Women’s Tennis looks poised for another fantastic season. Tied for first in the rankings of the 2017 MIAC Women’s Tennis Preseason Coaches’ Poll, they have high expectations. However, they are confident and ready to avenge their title as back-to-back MIAC regular season champions.

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