Freshman Monica Behrle has contributed significant wins to the Webster University tennis team this season. Further, she helped the team win the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SLIAC) Tournament. The team will advance to the NCAA tournament for the third time in its history. Behrle played her part in both singles and doubles matches. For her efforts she was named first-team all conference.
In doubles, her chemistry with her teammates was on display as she won her last ten doubles matches, and finished with an overall record of 15-5.
She also proved she could hold her own in singles. Behrle won all of her first sets in singles and only lost one match throughout the season. Her 20 wins is the most in a single-season in for a Webster player.
Behrle said the enjoyment and bond she developed her teammates, gave her the confidence and inspiration to go out and play well.
“I think I have always enjoyed being on a team and getting the support from my friends,” Behrle said. “Working with the team helps lift your spirits, and it makes you want to do better, because when you’re out there playing you don’t just affect yourself — you affect everybody else.”
Behrle has enjoyed success on the court and has a good rapport with her teammates off of it. Jesse Steffens-Willis is Behrle’s doubles partner on the team. She said she has great admiration for Behrle as a tennis player, from a talent standpoint and as an overall teammate.
“I think (Behrle) has always been pretty naturally talented at tennis, and she’s gotten so much better because she’s worked so hard at it since she was little,” Steffens-Willis said. “Also as a teammate, I think she’s gotten a lot better at being supportive and making everyone feel important regardless of their skill level.”
Behrle said another factor that influences her success is the way she can adjust her game plan and strategies from game-to-game. She based her tactics on her opponent’s tendencies.
“With Principia (College) I felt like if she (her opponent) hit the ball hard I would be able to chip it, which basically means hit it softer,” she said. “As a result of that she wasn’t able to focus, so therefore I was able to play better and get my shots. I make sure that I pay attention to that type of stuff, because it’s different with every player.”