Ava Compagnoni (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Starting off their shortened season strong, the Ursinus Women’s Tennis Team left their Florida spring break with a 6-1 record. But along with the rest of the spring sports, the Women’s Tennis Team had their season cut short. After graduating two seniors last spring and bringing in four freshmen this 2020-2021 year, the team set out to rebuild itself this past fall.
Five weeks of distanced, masked, energetic tennis is what the UC Women’s Tennis Team brought to their courts in October. The team worked really well with the COVID guidelines to make sure they could get as much out of practice as possible. Practices were not too different than if they were to be under normal conditions, because how more socially distanced can you be than tennis? The most difficult aspect of practice to adapt to for the players was handling the tennis balls themselves, each player had their own individual can of Wilson tennis balls, three to each player and labeled by number, to ensure players would possibly contaminate each other. The team focused more on singles work rather than doubles to abide by the COVID guidelines. Luckily, towards the end of the fall season the team could incorporate some doubles work by masking up and organizing the teams by family units.
The team once again has two graduating seniors this spring, Madisen Harvey and Maddie Sorebo. This is not how they envisioned their senior season after three years of commitment and great tennis: “My team for the past three years, both current and retired players, have made this experience and tennis itself something I will remember forever. The threat of this season being cancelled once again is very disappointing, I would have never imagined it to play out like this,” says Harvey ’21. Madisen played both singles and doubles all three years, switching up doubles partners and ranks on the singles ladders. In the 2020 spring season, Harvey went 5-1 with her doubles partner Summer Burkeholder ’20 at third doubles, starting off the season with a tiebreaker against Alvernia. “I cannot imagine my Ursinus experience without the Women’s Tennis Team, it has allowed me to become a team player, leader and mentor,” says Harvey.
Returning junior and top-of-the-ladder player Brenna Trkula is excited to be back with her team after such an isolating spring and summer. Brenna is a team co-captain for the 2020-2021 season, along with senior Madisen Harvey, and it can be seen in and out of practice that she is devoted to her teammates and game. She and her doubles partner Caitlyn Sorelle ’20 posted a 6-1 record to start their second season together strong, Trkula herself held a 5-2 record at third singles. “After months of social distancing, I found it very therapeutic to be back with my team. I am so thankful that Ursinus allowed us to practice, it really brought up the teams’ and my own spirits,” says Trkula.
This year’s freshman class is one of the biggest since the class of 2022 came to Ursinus; Claire Burke, Caitlin Vinsonhaler, Avery Samer and Kathy Logan are the fresh faces of UCWT. All four players add strong legs to the team, and whether there is a 2021 season or not, these girls are going to take the team to great heights as their careers have not even begun. Caitlin Vinsonhaler, a Milburn High School alum talks about her first experience with the team: “I really like the team dynamic of UCWT because each one of the girls is there for one another and was very welcoming to the freshmen. Whenever I am facing a problem, on or off the court, I know I can reach out to them and they will lend a hand or guidance,” says Vinsonhaler.
Photo Credits to David Morgan