Athlete of the Month: Cooke stirs up success in debut for the Judges
In her first season on the Brandeis women's tennis team, Carley Cooke '15 has made quite the impact, playing in every match at the No. 1 slot for singles and as a member of the first doubles team. Her play has catapulted the Judges, who are 9-1 on the season, to a No. 19 national ranking.
Cooke is part of a squad that has taken the Northeast by storm, soaring to a No. 15 ranking in the Northeast.
While Cooke has played many competitive matches as the top seed, she has not felt the pressure one would expect a first-year would have in her position.
"I haven't really felt much pressure at all," Cooke said.
"It's been mostly just fun, especially playing with [Faith Broderick '13] in doubles, but the competitiveness of our conference and all the matches we've played so far has been pretty much fun for me, overall."
Cooke, who hails from San Diego, has won eight of her 10 singles matches, as well as eight of her 10 doubles matches this year.
Even though her exceptional play is clearly evident, Cooke has had to adjust to playing in a more competitive atmosphere compared to high school.
"High school tennis for me wasn't like anything like college tennis because my school wasn't nearly as competitive as it is here, so I've never really a experienced a team culture or atmosphere like we have here," she said.
"I have been on many teams before because I played soccer for a long time, but I've never been on a real tennis team like this."
With several matches remaining until the University Athletic Association Championships, Cooke seeks to continue practicing and training at a high level to not only improve the team's ranking, but also her own play.
"I just need to keep working on my game, especially with my coach," Cooke said.
"We've hit a lot individually, and that's been really important for me. I'm always constantly improving my general athleticism with runs that we do with the team and lifting. "I think athleticism is super important because I'm always playing the best players the school has to offer, so I have to be ready for that every time," she said.
The women's tennis squad next plays Friday at the Wellesley Invitational against Skidmore College.
The Invitational will also be held on Saturday and Sunday, but the teams competing will not be announced until then,
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