As the Miami University tennis team approaches their 2014 spring season, MURedHawks.com will highlight a different player each week as a part of the Tennis Tracker series.
OXFORD, Ohio – RedHawk junior Christine Guerrazzi has high hopes for the 2013-14 Miami women’s tennis team. Guerrazzi can point to strong evidence to support her expectations.
The program is coming off their fifth-straight Mid-American Conference regular season title and an NCAA tournament appearance. The Red and White did not graduate any seniors last year, and added one talented freshman, Andreea Badileanu, to the mix of things.
“Our team is so close this year, especially since we didn’t lose anybody from last year,” said Guerrazzi. “Andreea is a big addition and has fit right in. We are just such a tight team. It’s been great.
In addition to success last season, RedHawk individuals combined for a .690 winning percentage in singles matches during fall tournaments this year. Guerrazzi, one of three juniors on the team, finished the fall schedule with an 8-4 mark in singles play and even won her flight at the Ball State Invitational.
Guerrazzi credits much of her individual success as well as the team’s impressive play over the past few years to head coach Anca Dumitrescu.
“My favorite part about playing for Coach Anca is how positive she is all the time,” said Guerrazzi. “If we do lose a match, she never gets upset. She just tells us what we need to do next time. It’s such a blessing because I see how other coaches react when their teams lose compared to Coach Anca. She gives more constructive criticism as opposed to just criticism.”
Dumitrescu says that Guerrazzi has grown a lot as a competitor since joining the RedHawks, but still has work left ahead.
“I think Christine is a very talented player,” said Dumitrescu. “She is a very nice person. One of the things we have been working with her is becoming a tougher competitor. Sometimes she is still a little bit too nice on the court. I think she has learned how to do that. This year, I am looking forward for her to make a big jump and have a huge impact as to how successful the team will be.”
Guerrazzi, who began playing tennis at the age of six, took an interesting road to Miami. Growing up in California, Guerrazzi picked up the game at a young age and began playing at increasingly competitive levels. When she was a freshman in high school, Guerrazzi’s family moved to California.
As a senior in high school, Guerrazzi was close to signing with West Point before meeting associate head coach Ricardo Rosas at a tournament. She used her last official visit to come to Oxford and see Miami’s campus.
“I really wanted to go into business and the business school here obviously is really good,” said Guerrazzi. “The business school, the coaches and the teammates were the main reason I came here. Then obviously the campus is wonderful too.
Guerrrazzi is eager for the team’s spring schedule to arrive and for Miami to make another run at a MAC title. Miami returns to action at the Purdue Invitational on Jan. 17 and begins MAC play at home against Northern Illinois on Mar. 22.