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The Scarlet & Black

Youth is an advantage for women’s tennis this fall

Women’s tennis first years Ali Hickey, Milica Cvrkota, and Abby Nielson, all ’21, are making an immediate impact. Photo by Mahira Faran.
Women’s tennis first years Ali Hickey, Milica Cvrkota, and Abby Nielson, all ’21, are making an immediate impact. Photo by Mahira Faran.

This year, the Grinnell women’s tennis team welcomed three new players: Milica Cvrkota, Ali Hickey and Abby Nielsen, all ’21. Already, these new players have established themselves as valuable members of the team.

According to Head Coach Paige Madara, two of the three players have won Midwest Conference Women’s Tennis Performer of the Week awards, and they have a combined 48-7 record in individual matches.

“It is an exciting time for the women’s tennis program as these three individuals have really positively impacted the team with their on-court performance and how they have meshed well into our team culture so quickly,” Madara said.

Cvrkota affirmed the feeling of community and belonging.

“[The team] is really nice. It’s like a family that I just got to know right now.”

However, tennis is not the only focus in the players’ lives. Cvrkota spends most of her time on math and computer science in the classroom, and tennis outside of it; Hickey is also interested in math — particularly statistics — and when not in class or playing tennis, she enjoys hanging out with friends.

As for the rest of the season, the team is looking forward to the ITA Regional Event this weekend, and seeks to win the conference tournament at the end of the season.

“As a team, we are looking to continue our success in the conference as we have four more conference matches to end the fall season,” Madara said.

For their part, Hickey and Cvrkota certainly agree with the desire to continue to do well in matches, win conference and maintain the strong standing of the Grinnell women’s tennis team. However, they also demonstrated goals for personal improvement and for the betterment of the team.

“If I can contribute as much as I can to the team and to the overall wellbeing and success of the team, that would be good,” Hickey said.

With a tournament and conference still ahead of them, the women’s tennis team and their new additions seem set up for a good rest of the season. The ITA tournament takes place this weekend, and their next match will be against Cornell College on Sunday, Oct. 1 at noon.

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