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April 23, 2024

Athlete of the Week- Stephanie Rettig

By Rian Dawson | March 8, 2013

In a blazing come-from-behind victory, the Hopkins women’s tennis team beat out the Carnegie Mellon Tartans to take home the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Division III National Team Indoor Championship Sunday in Greencastle, Ind. In its previous two trips to the championship, the team was far from taking home hardware, finishing no higher than seventh in both outings. After this win, however, the Lady Jays are now ranked number one by ITA, a monstrous leap from their 11th place ranking earlier this week, and remain an undefeated 3-0 on the season.

Down 4-2 as the tournament neared a close, Hopkins needed to win their final three matches to beat Carnegie Mellon. After her two teammates won their matches, and tied at 4-4, it fell to sophomore Stephanie Rettig to win it for the Jays. In a heroic performance, Retting took her match in two sets, scoring 6-2 in the first and cinching victory 6-3 in the second.

Retting took a moment to catch up with The News-Letter to talk about the win and her outlook moving forward this season.

The News-Letter (N-L): Congrats on your win! Can you talk to me about your preparation before the championship and how you think it was different from last year?

Stephanie Rettig (SR): We had the same mindset going into all the matches we played this tournament. We just took it one match at a time. We were down 2-1 after doubles, which means we had to win four of the six singles matches. And we lost our number one and number two singles match. And then the last three that we played we won, so it was pretty cool. There was a lot of pressure on the last three, especially for me because I knew we were winning those other two before I went on. Once they finished, I was up in my match. I was already up a set but I was still pretty nervous because I knew it was the deciding factor.


N-L: How do you think the team played in Indiana?

SR: I think we all played really well. Everyone won a lot of matches.


N-L: Can you tell me more about your final match? I hear it was quite harrowing!

SR: I think I played better in the first set because I wasn’t as nervous and the focus wasn’t all on me. The second set I got really nervous but I was still able to pull it out after the other two matches were done. Everyone was cheering after every single point. All the focus was on that because it was four all in matches so whoever won that match would win the championship for their team


N-L: What does it feel to have cinched the win for the team, and a very historic win considering it’s your first and the fact that you guys improved so much over the past year?

SR: It felt really good. After, we went to Steak n’ Shake and all got milkshakes. It was really fun. We all just celebrated after. After I won the last point everyone came on the court and we all started jumping around.


N-L: With this win in your pocket, how are you expecting the rest of the season to go?

SR: Actually, we’re now ranked number one on the ITA website after we were originally ranked eleven. After this win we’re now ranked number one. I think we have a lot of confidence and it puts us in a really good position for the rest of the season because this is only the beginning of the season.


N-L: And what about personal goals? Do you have any benchmarks you’re setting for yourself?

SR: Not really. I just like to have a lot of fun with the team and it’s really good bonding experience. We’re traveling for spring break to Texas and to Atlanta to play Emory. It should be a lot of fun. We’re all going to train hard and have a lot of fun.


N-L: What about the team as a whole?

SR: We’re all pretty close and because we all room with our doubles partners during the tournament I think that helps us for doubles—we get more comfortable with our partner. We do everything together as a team, we travel, we eat together.


N-L: How do you feel travelling to San Antonio in a couple weeks? It’s your fourth match of six straight against teams ranked in the top 15 by the ITA.

SR: Actually, Trinity was in this tournament we just played and they lost to two teams that we beat because they came in fourth. I think we should feel pretty confident about that but we can’t take it for granted. We can’t just expect to win. We have to put all our effort into it like we did in all the matches in Indiana.


N-L: Finally, do you have any special rituals?

SR: I like to listen to music before I play. I have a workout playlist, but some of the songs are good before a match. I listen to a lot of music right before I played the last match because at one point in time it just wasn’t good for me to watch because our number one was a split sets and it was really close and we knew that if she lost we would have to win the rest of matches in order to win. And she barely lost. My teammates were like, ‘Steph, you probably shouldn't watch anymore. Just go sit in the corner and listen to music.’ And I did that. I think that helped me mentally for the first set because I came out really strong in general in the match.

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