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The Carletonian

Senior Spotlight: Danielle Vasiliev

<ugh Carleton Women’s Tennis fell short of a MIAC championship this year, they had an extremely impressive season once again. They finished the year 14-5 overall, including a 9-1 record in the MIAC. Part of the team’s successful season had to do with the fantastic play of Danielle Vasiliev ’18, who finished her last year in a Knights uniform in outstanding fashion. Playing at number 1 doubles and number 2 singles, she ended the year with a record of 21-12, a career winning percentage of 69% and was a team leader on and off the court. Although the year did not end with a MIAC victory, as she would have hoped, Vasiliev held her own is now looking forward to her future outside of Carleton.

Reminiscing on her time at Carleton, Vasiliev said that she will particularly miss her teammates and coaches after she leaves. “I will definitely miss my teammates the most. It’s tough because every year we build a strong camaraderie, and I always miss the seniors who graduate,” she said. “It’s crazy to think now it’s finally my turn. I will also miss my coaches Luciano Battaglini and Zach Pruitt who always have supported me throughout these past four years and had my best interests.” Although she will miss her teammates and coaches, Vasiliev has learned many things from them while being here that she hopes to apply to her future.

One thing in particular that she has learned is to treat others how she would like to be treated herself. “I think a major thing I learned is having other people’s interests in mind other than my own and thinking more about how my actions impact others,” she said. “I hope to apply the same type of teamwork and encouragement to my coworkers in the future and create a positive working environment.” Vasiliev also learned that having a positive attitude was extremely important to success in life, especially when things aren’t going her way.

When asked if she thinks she accomplished all of her Carleton tennis goals, Vasiliev replied that improving her doubles performance lead to her success. “I’m pretty happy with the past four years,” she said. “I always considered myself as a singles player and wasn’t great at doubles especially my freshman year. I never made it to the starting lineup for doubles, so as a personal goal I was pretty eager to improve my doubles game. These past two years compared to my freshman year, I think I accomplished improving that, and I enjoyed playing number 1 doubles.” Although she was happy with her improvement in doubles, and had some great wins over nationally ranked teams, the only thing she wishes that her team “could have accomplished was winning the MIAC finals and getting a chance to compete in the NCAA.”

To conclude, Vasiliev has some great advice for other student-athletes at Carleton. “I think it’s important to remember that winning is obviously fun and enjoyable, but I think the bonds and memories you build with your teammates and coaches is longer lasting and will be even more memorable,” she said. “Therefore, just enjoy spending time with your team because these four years fly by and try not to get too caught up if you’re not having the best season.”

Vasiliev was also very supportive of her teammates while on the tennis team. Maddy Prins ’20 said that Vasiliev treated her like family from the beginning. “Danielle was one of the first people to reach out to me when I first got to Carleton,” she said. “She made me feel so welcomed to both the team and the school and made my freshman year so much better. She has always been one of the people I trust most on campus, and one of the most encouraging and supportive people I know.”

Vasiliev is starting dental school this August in Chicago and will be there for at least four years. For life after Carleton, she is most looking forward to moving to a big city after graduation and exploring Chicago. “I’m from the suburbs of Chicago so this will be a nice change up,” she said. “I also hope to travel a bit during this summer and visit some of my friends that moved out to other states.” Vasiliev is poised to own her future and is ready for the next step in her life after Carleton.

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