After several years of losing seasons and failing to reach their conference tournament, the Post women’s tennis team surprised many this season by going 11-5 en route to their first appearance in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) tournament last month. Junior Diana Perez, who competed in the top singles spot for Post all season, was one of the leading contributors to this season’s success.
Perez, a transfer student from Miami, FL, went 13-2 in singles matches and was recently named to the First Team All-CACC. Teammate Liza Dubrovskaya joined her on the first team and head coach Rob Howard received the conference’s Coach of the Year award.
“This season was such a team effort,” said Perez. “Every day we worked hard to improve, not just for ourselves, but for everyone on the team. We did it for each other and became such a family.”
Perez transferred to Post after playing for two years at ASA College, a perennial power in the National Junior College Athletics Association (NJCAA). She credits her ability to make this adjustment to how she was received by her teammates and coach upon becoming an Eagle.
“It was an adjustment, but my teammates made me feel like I belonged” she said. “Coach Howard too, he saw great potential in all of us and believed that everyone’s tennis would come together.”
Growing up in Florida, Perez was nationally ranked as a youth athlete, and she has been able to carry that success over to her high school career in Miami, her collegiate game in junior college and now at the Division II level.
“I’ve been playing tennis since I was four years old,” she said. “I’ve played for as long as I can remember. This is my absolute passion.”
Perez acknowledges the lack of success that has surrounded the women’s tennis team over the years, but says she is determined to put those memories out of sight.
“I’m always telling my teammates, we need to constantly fight to overcome the doubts people have in us,” she said. “We want to show everyone that we can succeed and get the same recognition and respect as the other teams in our conference.”