A Tennis Season to Remember

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The NYIT Women’s Tennis season has come to an end—but unlike other college sports it will be back again this spring. With a record of eleven wins and one loss overall, the Lady Bears have captured the East Coast Conference Tournament title, their first. This year’s team not only achieved these high marks for their season, but did so with vigor, winning seven of twelve matches by the score of 9-0.

 

The team’s number one, French-born student athlete Nelly Ciolkowski was a large part of this season’s successes. Before the tournament, Ciolkowski expressed that the team was confident from the start “We knew we had the potential to be one of the best in the region…our players train hard”. Ciolkowski, whose modest manner rarely exposes just how excellent and competitive she is out on the court showed a bit of that when she explained that the team’s mentality coming in was “Anything but a win is a disappointment.”

 

As the players looked forward to the ECC Tournament it was more as if they were looking back. In a perfect world, this season’s final would be a rematch of our NYIT Bears against the Knights of Queens College, the one and only match the team lost this year, and we got our wish. Through the collusion of hard work and luck, both programs made it to the conference final. That match, a 5-4 win by our Lady Bears was a great team reaping the benefits of hard work.And as I’m sure celebration is a big theme for the team coming off the win, they mustn’t lose sight of what lies ahead.

 

The tennis season is one of idiosyncrasy, concluding now with the ECC Tournament in the fall but then reemerging in the spring like a bear from hibernation (excuse the pun) in mid March. In other words, it’s rare that a sport has two ‘seasons’ crammed into one, the second half of the season consists of the Division II NCAA Tournament.

So what exactly does a great team of great players do during an intermission so lengthy? Well, once again Ciolkowski has your answers “There are still team practices…people play individual tournaments.” she said. Largely it seems though that this break serves as time to test the resolve of those returning in March “It is a long wait, so we will be very motivated for competition to start.” said Ciolkowski in response to any insinuation that the time off might somehow dilute her or her teams championship form.

 

And so commences the waiting game, with us tipping our hats to the Women’s Tennis team for their triumphs thus far, the greatest of which is their first ever ECC Tournament title and cheering them on in hope of triumphs to come. They have shown their ability to play at a high level, dominating at times, to the point that we came to expect it. The true test of great teams though is whether they can continue that play we expect of them into the NCAA’s.

 

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