USTA Section: Missouri Valley
Kristina Eilers - Junior
Jake Lee - Freshman
Rachelle Mauban - Senior
Andrew Ong - Grad
Mitchell Roemer - Junior
Kevin Salzstein - Grad
Lizzy Stanczyk - Freshman
Alekya Tummala - Freshman
Teams Defeated: Iowa, Oklahoma
USTA.com: When did you discover that you had the talent to win as a team?
We discovered we had the talent to win as a team when we played eight different players in a match against Iowa and won. No one had to play twice in our match because we were deep enough to all contribute to our team. Everyone did their part and held their own [way] to contribute toward a victory against one of the best teams in the region.
USTA.com: How does your team unwind after a day of matches?
We like to go out to dinner at Olive Garden. Whenever we have a tournament and finish a day of matches we find the nearest Olive Garden and enjoy the amazing breadsticks together as a team.
USTA.com: When you qualified, how did you celebrate?
All our teammates who were watching stormed out onto the court. Those of us who were on the court were just stunned that we had just beaten last year’s Missouri Valley sectional champions [so] our celebration was subdued compared to theirs!
USTA.com: Tell us a bit about how your school is unique?
SLU is so unique because we are a college campus in the middle of a very urban environment. There are many schools like this, but you can go to places on SLU’s campus and see the St. Louis Arch, and then walk 50 feet farther and not feel like you’re in the middle of a city whatsoever but on any other college campus in the country. Not to mention the Billiken, our famous mascot!
USTA.com: How does your team fundraise? Do you serve your local community in a meaningful way?
Our team has done profit shares at Flying Cow ice cream shop, as well as sold T-shirts to raise money for our team. All team members are required to do at least one community service event per semester. This has included the SLU day of service called "Make a Difference Day." We are also very excited to be volunteering at the 2013 US Open wheelchair tournament next August in St. Louis.
USTA.com: If you were to list three specific things that need to happen in order to win a National Championship, they would be:
- Have all of our players stay healthy.
- Get put in a favorable pool that we could win.
- Play our best tennis, because we know there is some great competition out there.
USTA.com: How do you exhibit school spirit?
Our team is always representing the Billiken wherever we go. People don’t usually know what a Billiken is, so we are always happy to tell people how this Buddha-like good luck charm came to be our mascot. Be a Billiken!
USTA.com: Share with us a funny story about your team or team member(s).
We always kid one of our players, Kristina, about being angry while driving even though she is a fine driver. We always say we want to see "Road Rage Kristina" out on the tennis court.
USTA.com Share with us an uplifting story about your team or team member(s).
Our team has had the privilege of being able to welcome international and study abroad students to the club tennis community this year. It is a chance for them to play some tennis and meet new people while they are studying in a foreign country.