A typical game day routine for Monica Behrle begins with her lucky towel and strength ball. The day usually ends with a Gorloks victory and excited teammates.
With last Thursday’s 6-3 victory over Westminster College, Behrle sits in history, a Gorloks’ record 53rd doubles victory. The record was previously held by both Lindsey Hays (2010 – 2013) and Allison Tungate (2009 – 2012), who tied for 52 doubles wins during their tenure.
Over the course of her four-year career, Behrle owns a 62-20 record in singles matches, and has compiled 11 SLIAC (St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) Player of the Week Honors. For Behrle, the process began at four years of age, where she first started tennis lessons.
“My mother had played tennis and it was something that we really bonded over through the years,” Behrle said. “She was there for me every step of the way from pee-wee lessons to traveling all throughout the South to cheering me on in college. Tennis is one of those sports that you can honestly play until you’re 90. It brings people together.”
Behrle will have the opportunity to continue adding separation to each of her records, consider how young the season is. The Gorloks have only played in 12 games thus far, owning a 9-5 record going into a weekend game against Principia College. The team owns an undefeated 4-0 record within the SLIAC, and contributions from Behrle and the team’s top players have been a key reason why.
In less than a month, Behrle and many of the Gorloks will graduate, leaving the team to prepare for a youth movement of sorts. The team will have gaping holes to fill, losing some of Webster University’s more successful players. Behrle, though, remains optimistic in the team’s chances without her.
“The freshmen this year have the potential to make their mark here at Webster,” Behrle said. “They’re a strong group of girls who have the spirit and the skills to do some great things and I hope they do. I have full confidence in them.”
Behrle said that despite her competitive nature and thrill of winning, she does not plan to make a career out of it. Even as her time as a Gorlok tennis player are coming to a close, her teammates, including fellow senior Robin Bolme, have remained appreciative of her efforts.
“Monica does everything to help with the team,” Bolme said. “Tennis is her passion and you can tell by all of the things she does. Whether that is getting the girls their uniforms, organizing workouts in the off season, or just simply making sure everyone has a ride to practice. She loves this team, and strives to push us all.”
The women’s tennis strength and conditioning coach Matthew Saitz made similar statements regarding Behrle’s work ethic.
“Her focused approach to training for sport, compounded with her resiliency as a competitor, make it no surprise to find her name all over the tennis record books,” Saitz said. “She exemplifies leadership intuitively, always looking for the best way to motivate her teammates, keep them on task, and push them to practice and compete at their greatest potential.”
Through tennis, Behrle has also taken advantage of multiple opportunities. The senior is a member of the Webster Student Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC), the director of five Gorloks Doubles Championship fundraisers and is administrator for the women’s tennis social media accounts.
With her recent play, she can add one additional achievement to her credit: Gorloks women’s tennis all-time leader in both singles victories and doubles victories.