Tennis Team Will Miss Seniors

    College athletics is often considered one of the last bastions of pure competition left in this country.

    Courtesy of UCSD Athletics
    Tennis: Cory Moderhak (left) was a member of the Triton tennis team for two years. Jaime Walker has played the last three.

    This is especially true of schools that do not participate in Division I. For players at these schools, the dreams of huge signing bonuses and multi-year contracts on the professional level are slim to none. The only real motivation is their love of the game and their love of competition.

    Unfortunately, one of the harsh realities of NCAA athletics is that, with few exceptions, players are limited to four years of eligibility and must move on after those four years.

    For this year’s UCSD tennis programs, this is true of two players.

    Women’s tennis player Jaime Walker and men’s tennis combatant Cory Moderhak have played their final matches at UCSD.

    One word that describes Walker is “”persevering””. She was cut from the team her freshman year, but continued to work and made the team her next season. Walker’s dedication was one of the traits that impressed head coach Liz LaPlante from the very beginning.

    “”She has improved tremendously over the years, but no matter what number she was playing, she has always worked very hard and pushed herself just as if she was one of the top players,”” LaPlante said.

    Walker was also known as the team’s encourager. She would often give important advice and tips to players before each match.

    Although Walker’s UCSD tennis career is over, she has not peaked.

    “”She had the highest GPA on the team and is planning on going to med school,”” LaPlante said.

    Moderhak played only two years for the Tritons, but during those two years, he made a huge contribution. He came to the team last year and immediately became the squad’s No. 2 player.

    “”He was able to go 11-2 at the No. 2 position last year and was one of the major reasons that our team moved up to No. 11 in the country,”” said head coach Eric Steidlmayer.

    The team began the season ranked No. 19. Although Moderhak didn’t play much in singles this season, he made a tremendous difference in the team’s doubles play.

    “”He ended both years playing No. 1 doubles, and we will definitely lose his punch at that position,”” Steidlmayer said.

    Moderhak’s biggest win of the year was his No. 1 doubles win with Jeff Wilson against Cal Poly Pomona, which helped secure the Tritons’ first Division II playoff win.

    Steidlmayer also remembered the way that Moderhak always kept the team’s attitude around the court as entertaining as possible.

    “”I think that he has provided a sense of humor to the squad and a lightness that will be missed, along with his tennis,”” Steidlmayer said.

    Moderhak is only a few units away from graduating with a degree in physics.

    We wish the two departing Tritons luck and thank them for the memories they have given to us.

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