NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – Deanna Tozzo went into her first College of New Rochelle women’s tennis match with one though on her mind – patience.
The freshman, playing No. 1 singles, faced Megan Santarsiero of Sarah Lawrence College, and Tozzo walked away with a 10-3 victory. As a result of her performance, Tozzo, a Lakeland High School graduate, was selected the Hudson Valley Women’s Athletic Conference Tennis Rookie of the Week.
“I knew going in it was going to be a hard match,” said Tozzo, a nursing major. “I was very nervous about the match, even when I had the lead at 4-1.”
Tozzo said Santarsiero had a strong serve and was being aggressive, so she focused on returning her shots, staying patient and avoiding unforced errors.
A four-year varsity player at Lakeland, Tozzo eventually extended to an 8-3 lead. Even with the lead, Tozzo was still somewhat nervous.
“I knew that she could always break back,” Tozzo said. “I didn’t want to allow myself to get comfortable, because that’s when problems start to happen.”
Following her victory, Tozzo came away pleased with every aspect of her game. Being selected as the conference Rookie of the Week was an added bonus.
“I was pleased with my consistency,” Tozzo said. “As a young tennis player I felt I was always consistent. When I got to varsity, my coach wanted me to become more aggressive and go for winners. When I went for winners, it led to unforced errors, so I wanted to get back to my old game.
“Being named Rookie of the Week was very surprising. I was honored. It is a great feeling.”