David Borne | Staff Writer
The month of September has been one to remember for Kylie Isaacs. The senior etched her name at the top of the Duquesne women’s tennis record books over the course of consecutive weekends this month.
She is now the program’s all-time leader in overall wins (148) and wins in singles play (78).
Isaacs has seen plenty of success at every level of competition, but the feeling that she got when she broke the record for overall wins was unlike any she had experienced on the court before.
“Lots of hugs and high fives and calls and texts and emails from both current and prior teammates and coaches. It was really nice,” Isaacs said.
“I was shaking for several minutes after the match from all of the excitement and emotion. My brother, Jared, who is on the men’s team, was on the court with me right after the match, which was really special.”
Isaacs was actually unaware that she was close to breaking the record until she was informed last year during an interview with The Duke. She admitted that the thought of the record was hanging over her head a little bit, but made an effort to make sure that the lingering thought didn’t affect her play.
“It was on my mind a little bit, to be honest,” Isaacs said. “I don’t think it impacted me at all on the court, but it was a relief to get it over with.”
Isaacs credits a large part of her success to head coach Vanessa Steiner and the rest of the coaching staff. Their rigorous conditioning program has kept Isaacs in top form, and has brought her game to a whole new level.
“Coach [Steiner] has had a significant impact on my growth as a player. Foremost, I am so much stronger, faster, and in overall better physical condition than when I started here as a freshman. The strength and conditioning program is excellent and has elevated my game. Coach Steiner also has us do speed and agility work, yoga, swimming, and other cross training.”
Not only does Isaacs’ appreciate the physical training that she has to endure with her team, but she complimented how well Steiner and her staff prepare the team mentally, as well.
“Coach also ensures we receive mental toughness training here at the school. On the court, we do high-intensity drilling and competitive match play to prepare for our fall and spring seasons. It is great to have a coaching staff who all work together to help us grow as athletes on the court, in the gym, and as people,” Isaacs remarked.
Although Isaacs has already captured numerous titles, she knows there is still work to be done. There’s one goal that she has yet to achieve in her time on the Bluff, and believes this year could be the year that she finally crosses it off her bucket list.
“Short-term, [my goal] is to win the Atlantic 10 Conference this year, and we have the skill on our team to do it if we stay healthy,” Isaacs said.
While this may be her final season at Duquesne, but the senior doesn’t plan on giving up the game at the end of the season.
“Long-term, [my goal] is to train after graduation and qualify for the U.S. Open in doubles with my awesome friend, roommate and doubles partner, Julianne Herman,” she added.
The tandem of Isaacs and Herman finished the 2017 campaign with 25 doubles wins, and they have already racked up six wins this season.
With just about a month left in the fall season, Isaacs and her squad still have plenty of time to prepare for conference play in the spring.
Their next match comes the weekend of Friday, October 6, as they will head up to Buffalo, New York, to participate in the University of Buffalo Invitational.