Carpenter leads without No. 2 teammate

first_imgAs a senior in her final year of play, Elizabeth Carpenter is at the No. 1 spot in the lineup, leading the Badgers into what is anticipated to be a very successful year for the University of Wisconsin’s women’s tennis team.However, a recent injury to the No. 2 player Alaina Trgovich has forced Carpenter to step up her game and fill the hole that was left when Trgovich tore her ACL, leaving her inactive.“Since we have a player that just went down with an injury, she’s going to have to fill that role all year,” coach Brian Fleishman said. “I think she’s ready to fill that void.”Trgovich is also doing the best she can to help Carpenter despite her injury. She knows that there is a lot she can do besides actually practicing with Carpenter.“I feel bad that I let her down and I can’t play with her,” said Trgovich, “I just try to motivate her and keep her focused, and I still want her to have a great last year.”So far, the team has been very successful, winning their last two matches 7-0 against Eastern Michigan and Northern Illinois with Carpenter in the lead spot. Nevertheless, playing without the team’s No. 2 player has made things a challenge for the senior.“It’s difficult to lose one of our best players, but I try to keep it off my mind.” Carpenter said of losing Trgovich. “It doesn’t change how I play, I still try to go out and do the best that I can.”Carpenter — who plays No. 1 singles and No. 1 doubles — provides support and experience for her team, and they all look to her for encouragement. She provides a framework for the team to model themselves after and Fleishman hasn’t overlooked her importance to the team both on and off the court.“She doesn’t really say a lot but she leads by example and works hard,” Fleishman said. “She shows everybody that she’s going to give the same effort every day, and on game day she has the most energy and everyone looks to her for a visual role model.”Carpenter led by example in last Friday’s win over the Northern Illinois Huskies. Carpenter won both of her singles sets 6-0 and finished 8-1 with her doubles partner, Angela Chupa.“She had a lot of energy this past Friday, and she knows she needs to step up a little bit more than she already has.” Trgovich said. “I think she did a really good job.”Although Carpenter is currently the top player on the UW roster, she hasn’t always been as successful as of late. According to Fleishman, hard work and her competitive spirit brought her to where she is today.“When I first came here, she couldn’t keep within two or three balls to play, and she’s come a long way in the year and a half since I’ve been coaching,” Fleishman said. “She’s got the biggest heart on the team and has the greatest work ethic.”Her love of tennis developed at a young age and grew into the passion she feels for the sport today. As a kid, she loved the challenge of taking on an opponent and playing her heart out.“When I was growing up, I played mostly individual and I liked going out and competing,” Carpenter said. “But now it’s a team, and I love having someone to play for and the team atmosphere out on the courts.”Now that Carpenter is a senior, she can look back over her collegiate career and learn from it. She has developed the skills she needs and knows how to prepare for each match and what works best for her.“I treat each practice as a game and give everything I have each time I go out on the court,” Carpenter said. “I live by the motto how you practice today is how you play each game and that helps me prepare for each match. Now that I’m a senior, I don’t take matches for granted and play at my best against each opponent.”last_img

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