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ND Women’s Tennis: Sanders embarks on sophomore campaign

Katie Heit | Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The spring season has barely begun and Britney Sanders is already proving that, at least for her, sophomore slumps are a myth.

Sanders, who came to Notre Dame from Ontario as the 21st-ranked prospect, spent her senior year of high school playing doubles with fellow Irish sophomore Julie Sabacinski.

Sanders said one of the challenges college play brings is transitioning from individual competition, which she was familiar with in high school, to the more team-oriented play that college provides.

“Before college, I represented and competed for just myself. I was alone on the court,” Sanders said. “Now, I am representing and competing for the Notre Dame women’s tennis team. I have teammates next to me cheering me on and pushing me to be the best I can be. We are all fighting to win together, as a team.”

Sanders is already establishing herself as one of the top competitors this spring, despite being only three matches into the season. She swept each of her matches in singles competition at the No. 4 spot. At No. 2 doubles, Sanders and freshman partner Katherine White are placed 25th in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association preseason rankings.

“My ranking with Katherine is both hers and my first college ranking,” Sanders said. “We’re very excited but also want to continue to improve. We’re working very hard in practice in order to claim more wins and hopefully move up in [the] rankings.”

Sanders said another difficult part about college competition is handling the stress that comes with being a college athlete and a top student.

“We are going to be traveling a lot this semester, so we have to make sure we keep up with our school work and at the same time compete against other schools every week,” Sanders said. “At times it’s stressful balancing the two.”

As for season goals, Sanders said hers align perfectly with the team’s ultimate goal: to bring a national championship home to Notre Dame.

“We have and will continue to work hard in practice and fight for every match in order to achieve that goal,” Sanders said. “We’re not going to be satisfied with coming close. We want that title and nothing else.”