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Women’s tennis team bonds despite unknown future

April 22, 2015

With budget cuts looming, there have been talks about cutting another sport on the UW-River Falls campus.

It has been one year since the men’s and women’s swimming and diving team was cut and now UWRF is looking at cutting another women’s sport from the list. One of the sports that has come up in discussions is the women’s tennis team.

Just like every other team in sports, the team is really close and has become like a family. The relationships that form between teammates in sports is something that doesn’t compare to anything else.

“I love my team, and I feel lucky to be a part of a team with such great people,” said junior tennis player Kelsey Hochberger in an email interview. “Everyone is dedicated to tennis and works hard at practice every day; it’s nice to see that.”

The student athletes on the team all had different reasons for wanting to take on the pressures of being both a student at the collegiate level while being a full-time student.

“I chose to be a student athlete because I wanted to continue to pursue my dedication to tennis,” said sophomore tennis player Anna Ebensperger in an email interview. “I knew that my tennis game still had a ton of potential so why would I waste that if given the opportunity to play? I didn’t know what being a student athlete would entail but I knew that I wanted to continue competing and play the sport that I love while representing UWRF.”

But despite the challenges, they don’t regret it and in fact being a student athlete has even made it so they focus more on school and stay out of trouble.

“Being a student athlete has taught me more than I will ever be able to explain. I have met a ton of awesome girls that will be my friends throughout the rest of my life,” Ebensperger said. “It has taught me how to manage my time and be efficient in every aspect of my life. I now know the definition of hard work and I also know that anything is possible with the right mindset. Representing UWRF kept me out of trouble my freshman year and has truly led me to be the best version of myself.”

The team is struggling with the idea of their sport being cut and the idea that they may not be able to go out with the team and play the game that they love.

“It honestly really upsets me knowing that the school is thinking about cutting a women’s sport, especially because it’s possibly the one that I am a part of,” Hochberger said. “The number one reason why I came to UWRF was to play tennis. I didn’t even know what my major was going to be when I was a freshman, all I knew for sure was that I wanted to play on the tennis team. The possibility of not getting to play for my senior year is very upsetting to me.”

The idea of cutting any sport makes athletes upset, but when it is your own it makes it even harder and it makes the emotions that much stronger. The bonds that are formed on teams is something that can make huge impacts on a person’s life and can make school and stress easier to deal with.