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Sally Skodinski shines on tennis court
By Lynn Bolt Rosendale
Sally Skodinski
Sally Skodinski

While going from playing No. 5 singles as a freshman to No. 2 singles as a sophomore would be considered a very good thing, there's also an element of challenge that is often overlooked, said Calvin sophomore Sally Skodindski.

"You're showing improvement, but you're also playing against people who are that much better," she said. "At the beginning of the season it was kind of scary."

But her fear was quickly replaced by confidence as she started posting wins at both this position and No. 1 doubles. Skodinski entered the conference tournament at 12-4 in both singles and doubles and 7-1 in MIAA competition in both flights as well.
"I learned I had to be a lot more confident in my ability," she said. "I concentrated on learning what my strengths were and really worked at incorporating them more into my game."

As if this leap wasn't big enough for Skodinski, she first had to learn how to play singles at all.

"I played all doubles in high school," she said. " I was first team all-conference for three years and made the Indiana Coaches Team, but always as part of a doubles pair."
Coming to Calvin from Riley High School near South Bend, Ind., and playing singles was her first major adjustment just a year ago.

"It's a big change mentally," she said. "You have to realize that you're out there on your own and you can't count on anyone else."

But supportive teammates have been very helpful in that regard.

"I didn't expect the closeness and bonding I've experienced with this team," said Skodinski. "I love the team aspect here."
Coach Jerry Bergsma said that while Skodinski's skills have improved over the last two years, the biggest change has been in her mental approach to the game.

"Sally has very high expectations for herself and I think that as a freshman the pressure got to her in a negative way," he said. "What she really improved on this year was being able to channel her energy in a positive direction on the court."
Skodinksi has the possibility of moving up to the No. 1 slot next year, he said. "That's the challenge in Division III. You never know for sure who you have coming to play each year. The door is open for Sally to move into the No. 1 position and I know that she wants to be prepared to play at that level."

Playing No. 1 requires a whole new level of mental and physical preparation, she said. "You know that you are going to be playing the other team's best player every time you step on the court. I would love to step into that position and be a real leader on Calvin's team."

That includes the ability to let her faith shine as a representative of Calvin, she said. "I found that this is a great way for me to praise God with my talents," she said. "I can be a light by being honest and optimistic on the court and that's something that is really worth the extra effort."

Women's Tennis

Knights in Action
Calvin vs. Aquinas

Spring Break Victories
Chimes reports on the action

Women's Tennis Strives to Finish Strong
Chimes article, May 4, 2001


MIAA Tennis

 

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