November 11, 2011
SMU's Marta Lesniak won the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championship last Sunday in New York, defeating Joanna Mather of Florida in straight sets.
Lesniak, ranked No. 10 nationally, won five matches in four days en route to the title. She topped four opponents ranked No. 26 or higher, including two ranked in the top five. She is now 17-3 on the season and 102-18 (.850) for her career. The United States Tennis Association/Intercollegiate Tennis Association championships were held in Flushing Meadows Corona Park in the New York City.
She is majoring in applied physiology and sport management in SMU's Simmons School of Education and Human Development.
"Winning nationals was very important because I always wanted to win a college major, and I am happy that during my senior year I managed to accomplish that," Lesniak said. "
"It is the most selective tournament during the fall and there are so many incredible players out there, I still find it hard to believe I actually won it. After graduating I plan on staying involved in sports, one way or another. My other passion is music so I don't want to eliminate the option of working in this industry either," she said.
In writing about the championship match, ITA said that after Lesniak fell behind 5-2 in the first set, she eliminated the careless errors from her game and found the range on her powerful serves and penetrating strokes. With Mather trying and failing to match the Mustang's pace, Lesniak won 11 of the final 12 games in the match.
"I started to be more aggressive when I was 2-5 down," said Lesniak. "I had nothing to lose, so I went for my shots more and it started working and she started making mistakes. That's how I got through the first set, and the second set was a totally different game."
Lesnaik was Conference USA Player of the Year for the 2010-11 and the 2009-10 seasons. Also during the 2010-11 season, she was C-USA Singles Player of the Championship, C-USA Doubles Team of the Championship paired with Aleksandra Malyarchikova, ITA Region and National Player to Watch, All-Conference USA Singles and Doubles first team, three-time Conference USA Player of the Month and Four-time Conference USA Player of the Week.
Lesnaik, who began playing tennis at age 4, is from Wroclaw, Poland. He father is a high school teacher and coach.
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