Senior Amanda Rodgers reflects on time at Syracuse, looks ahead toward professional career

first_img Published on April 15, 2015 at 8:53 pm Contact Michael: [email protected] Facebook Twitter Google+ When she was as young as 4 years old, Amanda Rodgers would often accompany her parents to their favorite tennis courts in Bradenton, Florida, her hometown. Rodgers would bring her black Labrador, with whom she played a tennis rendition of keep-away.It was then when she began to fall in love with the sport she now plays for Syracuse. A senior, Rodgers plays No. 1 singles for the Orange (7-11, 2-10 Atlantic Coast) and will partake in her last two regular-season home matches in meetings with North Carolina State (10-13, 1-11) on Friday and Georgia Tech (11-8, 7-5) on Sunday at Drumlins Tennis Center.One of three seniors on the team, Rodgers admitted she’s going to be upset when she steps off the court for the last time Sunday. But she also said she plans on not letting those emotions affect her prior to or during her matches.“We need to win,” said Rodgers, a contributing writer for The Daily Orange. “These are very important matches this weekend, so I’m just going to try to fight as hard as I can.”Rodgers has spent the past three seasons as the team’s top singles player, and sports a 43-33 career record for SU. This season — Syracuse’s second in the ACC since moving from the Big East — she’s 6-11 at the No. 1 singles spot.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textDespite that record, head coach Younes Limam said he’s seen strides in Rodgers since the end of last season.“She’s improved tremendously,” he said. “As far as her game, being more aggressive, being closer to the baseline, dictating play, playing on her terms and stuff like that.”Rodgers’ production on the court has been matched by her value off of it, Limam said. He pointed to his No. 1 singles player’s leadership, saying she consistently shows up early for practice and sets an example for the underclassmen.Of its seven-player roster, the Orange has three sophomores and one freshman, all of whom Limam said look up to Rodgers.It will make saying goodbye to SU that much tougher for Rodgers.“I was talking to someone in the athletic department the other day and they were asking me if I was excited to graduate,” she said. “I said no. They started laughing because they said Syracuse is the only place they’ve ever heard a senior say they don’t want to graduate.”Though her collegiate career is quickly coming to an end, Rodgers isn’t yet finished playing tennis. Her next step will be joining the professional circuit, which she plans to do as soon as she graduates.Limam, who previously played in the men’s professional circuit, said he believes Rodgers can have success at the next level.The head coach said he expects Rodgers will go to Europe to begin her pro career. There, Limam said, she could enter a number of tournaments.Rodgers, however, isn’t yet sure where she’ll play next.Said Rodgers: “I’m just going to go with the flow.” Commentslast_img read more

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