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ND Women’s Tennis: Sanders looks toward strong senior season

By Katie Heit | Tuesday, September 10, 2013

In her Notre Dame career, senior Britney Sanders has gone from an inconsistent freshman to a junior in the No. 1 singles spot. Now, Sanders is looking toward the opportunity to leave a lasting legacy on her teammates and her program in her final season with the Irish. 

“I want to be remembered as someone who worked hard every practice and fought for every match,” Sanders said. “I want to be a good role model for my teammates.”

Sanders may not be too far from her goal. Last season, Sanders was named the Big East Player of the Year, an honor she said was her proudest moment at Notre Dame. 

After a disappointing freshman season during which she didn’t see the court often, Sanders claimed the No. 4 singles spot as a sophomore and completed her climb to the top by taking the No. 1 singles spot for the majority of her junior season.

Fellow senior Julie Sabacinski, who has played with Sanders since both girls were 15 years old, said she has seen Sanders grow tremendously as a player throughout college play.

“She’s become much more consistent compared to freshman year,” Sabacinski said of Sanders. “[Irish coach Jay Louderback] has done a great job working with her on her consistency. She’s staying focused through the entire match and giving her all in every play.” 

Sabacinski said Sanders has become a strong role model for the entire squad.

“She’s definitely taken on a leadership role,” Sabacinski said. “She works hard every time she hits the court and the other girls notice that.”

Sanders said her development into a team leader resulted from her on-court experience and status as one of the team’s veteran players.

“Seniors are always the role models of the team,” Sanders said. “I do my best to set good examples and push my teammates to be better than they were the day before.” 

Sabacinski said she believes Sanders may have a future in the tennis world after her college career ends.

“She has definitely matured as a person and a player,” Sabacinski said. “I definitely think she has a future in tennis.” 

In the meantime, Sanders said she values being part of the Notre Dame team for one last season.

“My teammates are so awesome and so special to me,” Sanders said. “We have become a family.” 

Contact Katie Heit at [email protected]