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Students may see them playing on the tennis courts outside the athletic center on a daily basis, however you may not recognize them as the Quinnipiac’s tennis teams. One player to look for on the courts is freshman Danielle Rodriguez.
The NEC named her Women’s Tennis Player of the Week last week for her performance at the Yale Invitational Tournament.
Rodriguez was able to tally her first two collegiate wins in the Bobcats’ first tournament of this young season.
On day one of the two day tournament, in her first college match, Rodriguez fell to Veronika Gerka of Seton Hall 1-6, 3-6. Because of the loss, Rodriguez was placed into the consolation bracket.
“Throughout my first match all I thought about was how nervous I was.T But as the tournament continued, my nervousness began to fade,” said Rodriguez.
Not allowing the loss to get in her way, Rodriguez set her sights on her next opponent, Sady Sandquist from the University of Massachusetts. She was able to handle the challenge of Sandquist, beating her 6-2, 6-1 in straight sets.
On day two the story stayed the same for Rodriguez, and that was dominance. In the finals of the consolation bracket, Rodriguez proved her skills to the rest of the field as well as herself. She defeated Laura Spagnuolo, of Seton Hall University 8-4, which won the consolation bracket for the freshman.
Rodriguez started playing tennis while she was in seventh grade, only it was on the men’s team.
“Being a 12 year old girl, playing 18 year old men, my first tennis season didn’t promise many wins,” said Rodriguez, but that did not last long.
She went undefeated her senior season and was the first women to ever to win the Men’s I.A.C. Championship and the first woman to make it to the men’s state qualifiers.
“The biggest adjustment in being a college athlete opposed to a high school athlete is having really good time management skills. Some days it seems like there is so much to do in such little time. Whether I’m on the tennis court or in the classroom, I’m always working,” said Rodriguez.
With an extremely hard work ethic and dedication, Rodriguez, as well as the rest of the men’s and women’s tennis squads are sure to continue there winning ways throughout the season.