The Lady Blues tennis team was missing something, but they weren’t sure what, losing match after match on splits last year. This year they hope they have found that something in its new No. 1 spot player, Diana Goldsmith, junior.
“I didn’t know about the matches last year because I focused playing at Johnson County,” said Goldsmith. “I think I should be able to help, we’ll just see after we get some matches out of the way.”
Goldsmith, a Jamaica native, transferred from Johnson County this year to become the Lady Blues new No. 1 spot player and team-up with Julie Huyberechts, senior captain, in doubles. Goldsmith transferred to Washburn because she believed in the system Jennifer Hastert, head coach, has set up.
“Washburn is a really good team, much better than the team I was on previously,” said Goldsmith. “I transferred here for the program and the coach. The program is in really good shape. I look forward to doing well with my team in competitions to come.”
Goldsmith played the No. 1 spot at Johnson County as well, finishing second in the 2006 NJCAA regional. Goldsmith says transitioning to the No. 1 spot at Washburn has just been natural playing the same role she has the previous two years.
“It’s a lot of pressure because you have to really keep the spot and try the best you can,” said Goldsmith. “It’s not like my other teammates aren’t up to par, they are up to par and playing really good. I played No. 1 at Johnson County and it doesn’t really matter to me, I just want to be a part of this team.”
The addition of Goldsmith allows the Lady Blues to have a much better rotation at the singles level. For example, Huyberechts who was the No. 1 spot last year will be playing No. 2 this year, No. 2 from last year will be playing No. 3 and so on. The rotation ought to give them the upper hand this year in splits where they lost 4 of 5 matches that came down to splits.
But the Lady Blues are just shaking off the rust now that may come with a winter lay off and preparing for their first match this weekend in Tulsa, Okla. The Lady Blues expect success but say the first couple matches may be shaky playing in the outdoors for the first time as they have been practicing on indoor courts.
“We’re going to be pretty good starting off, but we should get better as time goes on,” said Goldsmith. “It’s going to be a little shaky for everyone the first couple of matches because we really haven’t played outdoors and these first matches should be outdoors.”
The Lady Blues will take on Dallas Baptist and Eastern New Mexico on Friday and finish play in Tulsa on Saturday with East Central Oklahoma. Goldsmith, who made it to semifinals in both singles and doubles, hopes to continue her success throughout the season.
“It will be tougher,” said Goldsmith. “I’m just going to take one match at a time. Hopefully I can get farther than that with my team.”
The Ichabod tennis team is also in action this weekend in Tulsa. The Bods take on Dallas Baptist and Oklahoma Wesleyan Friday, and finish play with East Central Oklahoma Saturday.