Women’s tennis looks for improvement

 Head women’s tennis coach Mark Klysner said he is excited about getting his teamback on the court after a “pretty good fall.”

“We are a very young team and are still adapting,” Klysner said. “The fall was a good indicator of what we needed to work on over the break.”

The Penguins open the season Feb. 3 against Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

“We have a full slate of games in the spring, which is great,” Klysner said. “I am very optimistic that we can have a good season.”

Sophomores Carolyn Jesko and Gimena Puppo teamed up three times in doubles action in the fall, winning all three matches.

Jesko said the team had a productive winter.

“Coach had us do a lot of conditioning drills over the winter,” Jesko said. “We just want to go into the spring and maintain what we built in the fall.”

Klysner thinks the team will continue to build chemistry going into the spring and said everyone on the team has improved.

Puppo echoed Klysner’s thoughts.

“We get along really well,” she said. “We have been trying some new doubles partners and that has been going well.”

Klysner is also looking for improvement from freshman Marta Burak, who was just 15 years old during the fall season.

“With Marta being so young her first year, I thought she did great in the fall and in the classroom,” Klysner said. “To be able to adapt as a 15-year-old like that is great.”

Jesko, who reached the doubles final with Burak at the Martha Thorn Invitational in Morgantown, W.Va., said the experience would help in the spring.

“We can learn from the fall,” Jesko said. “It was our first time playing with Marta, and with the fall under our belt, I think that will be a lot of help.”

Individual workouts were a part of winter break, and Puppo said those went well.

“We worked on our serves and hitting, things like that,” Puppo said. “Just things to make us better.”

Jesko also worked out a few kinks.

“For me, I worked on just hitting through the ball. That was a main focus of mine over the break,” Jesko said.

Although the team is still very young, Puppo expects improvement.

“Hopefully we can get some more wins,” she said. “If we can improve on some of the things from fall, I think we can do it.”

Jesko thinks the team will be better as well and said it is ready for the season to start.

She is also looking forward to playing close to her hometown of Boardman.

“We are just excited for the season in general,” Jesko said. “It will be nice to play at the Boardman Tennis Center. We can have some family and friends come watch.”

Klysner said he won’t put too much pressure on the team.

“This is kind of a rebuilding year since we are pretty young,” Klysner said. “I would like us to focus on just getting better and uniting as a team.”