The Highlander

Captain’s Corner

Mike Diakunczak, Columnist

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Nicole Joers, sophomore psychology major, is a singles player  for the  women’s tennis team, and she wishes she’d always played the sport.

“I wish I would’ve played competitively throughout my whole high school career, but I didn’t believe in myself. I wanted to continue in college because I genuinely love the sport and it makes me forget about everything else going on in my life,” Joers said.

The mighty five-foot competitor almost didn’t play here, either.  She was not recruited to be on the team, but after she hit her stride balancing her academic workload, she chased the opportunity to walk on. Joers eventually did and has been a great success: She made it to the MAC semi-finals this year.

“It was really rewarding to have my coach and all my teammates cheering me on,” Joers added.

Multiple team members advanced far in the MAC finals, and the team placed second in the conference in 2017.

However, players say they still face a challenge, one that may be more difficult to beat  than opponents on the court.

“As a tennis player for Misericordia, it is hard to get recognition. Many people think tennis isn’t really an important sport for our school, so no one really pays attention to us as a team,” said Joers.

It is hard to disagree with that. At homecoming, the women’s tennis team was the only team not recognized. Being a college athlete for any sport is difficult to manage, so for the team to not be recognized, for any reason, is unacceptable. It’s shocking, particularly in light of the team’s success.

Joers believes the team needs to spread the word.

“Maybe if people would better understand that we have a decent program and are succeeding, they would be more willing to come to matches and support.”

The women’s tennis team finished with a 4-3 record last season. With a spring season on the way, the team is preparing to make it a step closer in the MAC finals and get the program’s first ever win over Wilkes University. In addition, Joers and the rest of the Lady Cougars hope to draw crowds – just as other campus sports teams do.

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Captain’s Corner