Tennis enters championship with high hopes

When one truly excels, it isn’t just in one aspect of life. To identify and achieve goals throughout one’s college career sets you up for the future and nearly all that it holds.

To look at Panthers women’s tennis is where I see an ideal example of exactly what I am speaking of. Not only are they exceeding but they are spreading their wealth in success throughout themselves and representing the University while doing so. To be in the position of Head Coach Katarina Petrovic is sure to be one that makes any leader proud.

The tennis team has now closed out the season against rival school, Florida Atlantic University, with a win to put them at 11-6. This seems to be just the tip of the iceberg as they were able to achieve Conference USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll. While I say “they” it is impressive to state that every player on the team has received the award. Lone senior Giulietta Boha, sophomores Carlotta Orlando and Aleksandra Trifunovic, freshmen Nina Nagode, Tina Mohorcic and Valentina Briceno.

The purpose of school is for the education. Some problems that people take up being a student-athlete is putting the athletic side ahead of school. This problem can be assumed canceled by the young tennis team while they have a good balance of all they take part in. To bring more awe to the situation they are all international students meaning they are able find this balance away from home and what they have known their entire lives.

Having the season transition toward the Conference USA Championships the Panthers have swept FAU for a 4-0 victory. The more experienced Boha, Orlando and Trifunovic came in with quick doubles and singles points to shutout their season with no love for the Owls.

Next step is Norfolk, Virginia for the 2014 Conference USA Tennis Championships commencing April 16. Boha is not a stranger to the level competition so I feel she has the greatest potential. Not Conference USA but being part of the 2011 Sun Belt Conference championship title team, Boha has a taste of big winning in her system. Being around her matches anyone can tell a taste is not enough for her and she is going for more.

Orlando and Trifunovic are the next up to do something big at the championships. Being new to the conference they have the ability to do great things and I am looking forward to hearing about all the upsets they make. They may not be scouted a great amount  as they are in a new conference and do not have the greatest records. Flying under the radar i feel they are a great stealth threat.

As for the youngest members of the team they will have some tough matches.This competition is not easy but they will show their hard work in some matches. Getting far in the competition or not, there is nothing to hang their heads about because they have ample time and opportunity. At the same time, they need to take advantage of the exposure to this level of competition.

With that said I do not feel the team will do well as a unit but they will do well individually. With individual success it will add up for the team but I don’t feel it will be enough to win the title as a team. They are great and tough competition so I can’t take anything from them and much success won’t be of significant surprise. The team is small in numbers and young in experience. These Panthers are still developing under Petrovic to be at their full strength.

With Boha leaving there will have to be a new leader to step up and maybe even a team captain. To me, Orlando and Trifunovic are the first prospects to this responsibility but there is still possibility for a new member of the team to take some control and lead the team where they want to go.

On or off the courts the women’s tennis team is something to applaud. The championships  will prove who wants what more.


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