Women’s tennis success based on chemistry and positivity

Linn Timmermann sets to throw a serve during a match at Dunwoody Country Club against Florida International University, Feb. 19, 2016. Photo Submitted by Georgia State Athletics
Linn Timmermann sets to throw a serve during a match at Dunwoody Country Club against Florida International University, Feb. 19, 2016.
Photo Submitted by Georgia State Athletics

Georgia State’s Women’s Tennis team is having one of their best seasons in school history as they are ranked No. 46 nationally, which is their highest ranking in the last four years. The Panthers are currently 10-5 this season and 2-0 in conference play. The main reason for the team’s success is their team chemistry and upbeat positive attitude.

The Panthers currently have seven international players. Combining seven different cultures onto one team can seem like a recipe for disaster, but this team has turned it into a recipe for success.

When asked about what makes this team so special, senior Linn Timmermann said, “We’ve gotten closer as a team. We get along off the court as well on the court. We are all good girls and we have fun.”

Even newcomer freshman Daniela Ramirez can tell how close the team is as a unit and how it has helped her.

“I like them because we are always together,” Ramirez said. “We eat together, we play together, and we practice together all the time. (We) are a good team we have nice people like Linn, and Kristin (Rehse) is a nice person, and they all are nice persons. I really like them, it’s really nice to have nice people with you.”

Head Coach Jason Marshall feels this team’s chemistry, despite having seven international players, is better than most teams.

“I think (our chemistry) it’s better than most teams when you think of the fact that they come from all over the world and some cultures are laid back while others are uptight,” Coach Marshall said. “We’re always around each other a lot in the van and on the court and we have a lot of social time. Everyone gets along well despite the different cultures and personalities.”

Not only has team chemistry been one of the main reasons for the team’s success, but Coach Marshall installing a sense of positivity into the team has also contributed.

“We’ve noticed throughout the season we got down on ourselves in matches, but I think one of the key things is no matter how good or how bad things are we’re just staying positive no matter what,” Coach Marshall said. “And if we do that, we know we will come back quicker.”

Senior Timmermann is the leader of this team. She knows it and proves the leadership role through her play.

“I’ve worked hard for it and I think I’m in the right spot,” Timmermann said. “I like leading on the team and I have experience. I’m just trying to be there for the girls and give it my best. I’m not harsh, I’m really sweet and the team tells me I’m a really nice senior.”

Not only does Timmermann and her team know that she is the leader, but Coach Marshall does too and feels she’s doing a great job of it.

“She’s our leader, we know she’s our leader and we’ve counted on her in some big matches and she’s come through for us several times,” Coach Marshall said. “I think she’s a lot better player than what she’s ranked and what she gives herself credit for.”

Timmermann is in the No. 1 position on the team facing the top player in each game and her record of 9-5 on the season is really impressive considering the competition she plays. In addition she is the only player on the team to go against nationally ranked players and she currently has a record of 1-1 against them.

At only 17 years old, freshman Ramirez has the best record on the team and is currently on a six game singles winning streak. Ramirez plays the sixth position, which isn’t against the best, but it can always be the deciding match in games and at 10-2 at that position she’s in that spot for a reason.

As the season has progressed Ramirez has gotten better and better and she feels the reason for that is just her confidence.

“I’m so confident right now and playing really good,” Ramirez said. “It’s like a good moment for me to be out here and I just want to take advantage of it.”

Even Coach Marshall feels Ramirez is playing at a high level, and getting better after each match.

“She’s coming in at 17 years old and she’s coming further along than other people her age,” Marshall said. “It’s amazing to see how she’s improved in three month period, she’s serving a lot better and making less mistakes. She’s a hard worker and she takes a lot of pride in being the best and she feels like losing is like letting the team down.”

Ramirez’s competitiveness and pride is what makes her a great player and it shows statistically. She is 7-3 in her last 10 matches and she is 2-0 in conference play.

Coach Jason Marshall Coaching

Sun Belt Tournament Conference Preview

The Panthers are currently ranked No. 46 in the ITA rankings and are just behind Sun Belt Conference foe South Alabama who is ranked No. 43. The highest ITA ranking team will be awarded the highest seed in the conference tournament, and a spot in the NCAA tournament despite what happens in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament.

The Panthers final two games are against Troy and South Alabama and if they win their last two games they will win a spot into the NCAA tournament and the No. 1 seed in the conference. Coach Marshall knows this and is preparing his team just for it.

“We’re approaching this weekend like it’s just as important as the conference tournament because we do know what’s at stake,” Coach Marshall said. “At the end of the day it’s about making the NCAA’s and whether we make it winning the conference tournament or making it ranked wise, both are great.”

Coach Marshall is also getting the team ready for the heated weather by keeping them in shape since the conference tournament will be held in the deadly heat of New Orleans.

“We have to be in great shape and it all starts in New Orleans weather which is very humid and hot,” Coach Marshall said. “I think we all know we’re going to play great tennis, but we know all of us have to be in top shape to be able to play our best and that’s why we’re focused on our fitness.”