Senior Klara Vyskocilova will look to conclude the regular season on a perfect note against UTSA on Thursday.
April 9, 2014
Tulane senior Klara Vyskocilova is undefeated and has just one dual match remaining in the regular season to complete her pursuit of perfection this spring.
Vyskocilova is literally having a perfect spring season. She is 10-0 in dual matches this spring, is currently riding the crest of a12-match win streak dating back to last November and is 5-2 against nationally ranked players on the year. If she were to remain undefeated in the regular season, it would be the first time for a female Tulane tennis player since the program was relaunched in 2008-09.
On Thursday at 1 p.m., Vyskocilova will don the Olive & Blue for the final time as the Green Wave concludes the regular season against Conference USA newcomer, UTSA, at the City Park Pepsi Center.
"It has been nice to be undefeated this season," said Vyskocilova of her success. "This is my last semester of playing and being here in the United States, so I'm trying to just enjoy the moment on the courts."
"Every year is a good year for Klara," Tulane head coach Terri Sisk said of her star senior. "But this year with her taking out so many ranked players and being undefeated is just a feat you do not hear of while playing at No. 1."
One of her wins this spring came against Abigail Tere-Apisah of Georgia State, who was ranked No. 12 in the country at the time. Vyskocilova won that match in straight sets, 6-2, 6-1, and, according to her, the victory was her most satisfying win of the season.
"I lost to her last year, and it was a pretty quick loss," Vyskocilova said of their last meeting. "This year I came prepared. I had a game plan and I knew what to expect. I wanted to win to prove to myself that I can beat anyone in the country."
In February, the senior earned C-USA Women's Tennis Athlete of the Week following her win over Auburn's No. 21 ranked Pleun Bergman, 6-1, 3-6, 1-0 (10), in a marathon of a match. In addition, Vyskocilova has been ranked as high as No. 51 in singles and enters her final regular season match ranked No. 52.
The finance major did not begin her career at Tulane. Instead, she started her collegiate career at Clemson University, where she recorded winning seasons as both a freshman and a sophomore and ranked as high as No. 58. But Vyskocilova was not satisfied with just playing tennis and wanted a college environment with a strong academic focus.
Transferring to Tulane turned out to be a good decision and she was recently accepted to graduate school in London, but is still hoping to hear from Copenhagen Business School. After a couple of years in graduate school, she hopes to work in the finance industry, while still playing tennis for fun.
Vyskocilova was born and raised in the Czech Republic, prompting her desire to return to Europe. She admits the transition to America was hard at first.
"My first semester, I was all over the place because I was so tired. I was just surviving from one day to the next. I did not speak English very well so it was hard to keep up in my classes and take notes," Vyskocilova said.
But with her acceptance into grad school, and mastering the English language, the Czech native seems to have adapted well in the Tulane environment.
Last year, Vyskocilova was selected to both the All C-USA and All-Louisiana first teams, as well as being honored as a Louisiana co-Player of the year. But unfortunately she just missed earning a spot in the NCAA tournament. Coach Sisk is confident that will not happen again this year.
"She is setting herself up perfectly to go into the NCAA tournament. With all of these wins she's had recently, there's no reason she shouldn't be there. I think she needs a few more wins to solidify her automatic bid, but I would be shocked if she's not there," Sisk said.
As for Vyskocilova, she's focusing on the season at hand before looking to post-season.
"I feel like the wins are coming by themselves. I don't know what I'm doing right and what I'm doing so special," Vyskocilova said.
But Coach Sisk knows.
"We always knew that she was very talented, but the level of discipline and diligence she's showing this year is impressive. Klara has that gear that some girls just don't have," Sisk said.