June 26, 2017

Monica Behrle outmatches the tennis competition

Monica Behrle opened up her junior season winning Women’s Tennis Player of the Week for the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SLIAC) three consecutive weeks.

Behrle also won the SLIAC Player of the Week for April 3, giving her the award four out of the first five weeks of the season.

Behrle has a 9-4 record this season in singles and is 8-3 in the first match.

During her freshman season, Behrle set a school record with 21 wins. It was three more wins than the previous record holder. She said her ultimate goal is to break the school record in all-time wins.

“I think it is easier to play when I have a big goal like that,” Behrle said. “It’s like OK, I didn’t win this match, but I’m going to win the next one. It pushes me to be better.”

Behrle is 12 wins shy of breaking Allison Tungate’s school record, but she said her main focus is for the team to win.

“I got to get the point for the team,” Behrle said. “We have three lines of doubles and singles. Basically you have to win five matches to win the whole match and each line counts as one point.”

Growing up in Georgia, Behrle said she started playing tennis at a young age. She played in her first tournament at age nine.

Behrle said her mother had the biggest influence on her growing up.

“I’ve been playing forever and my mom got me started in it,” Behrle said. “So we just hit around and I got good and started playing in tournaments.”

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Photo Credit: Carolynne Barrow

Along with playing tennis, Behrle majors in sports and entertainment advertising. She said her love of St. Louis and her major led her to Webster.

Tennis head coach Martha Davis-Goldstein recruited Behrle to play tennis at Webster University. She said Behrle’s commitment to the team and passion for the game are her best qualities.

“I know when she is out there playing, she is giving 100 percent,” Davis-Goldstein said. “Those are the type of things that you can’t teach somebody. That’s something Monica does really well.”

Sophomore teammate Sara Rice said Behrle’s focus and drive to compete at the highest level has been key to her success.

“Monica is a very smart player, she analyzes each opponent in the way she thinks will work best for her,” Rice said. “I love watching her change up her shots, from topspin to flat shots and those crazy angles.”

Behrle said Davis-Goldstein has had the team working in practice on doubles play. She said the main focus has been sharper angles and putting the volleys away.

“That is what you want to do in doubles, you don’t want to play more than you have to,” Behrle said. “So putting away, setting up your partner for a good kill shot.”

Madison Watts has been Behrle’s primary doubles partner this season. They are 2-2 in doubles play.

Watts said her playing style compliments Behrle well in doubles play.

“She is a great finisher up at the net and extremely reliable,” Watts said. “I always tell our coach that I’m fully confident going into doubles with Monica.”

Behrle said she feels like she has developed a groove playing doubles with Watts. She also said in doubles she tries to find ways to exploit her opponent’s weakness.

“So for some of our matches, the girls didn’t slice shots,” Behrle said. “We were just slicing them and they missed. That’s how we won.”

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