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    Steffi McDonald playing for St Michaels. St Michaels vs Kalkee.

Steffi McDonald continues to dominate

By Colin MacGillivray

Horsham’s Steffi McDonald has continued to dominate in United States collegiate tennis, ranking in the top 50 women of National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, NAIA.

Playing for Blue Mountain College in Mississippi, McDonald was 42nd in the nation in the year-end Intercollegiate Tennis Association, ITA, women’s singles rankings released last week.

The NAIA is a US collegiate athletics association for small colleges and universities, similar to the larger National Collegiate Athletic Association.

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McDonald’s ranking came after she reached round 16 at an ITA South Regional in New Orleans.

The ITA South Region is considered the toughest in the country, with the top four NAIA players in the country coming from the region.

McDonald, 19, said she was excited to be ranked in the top 50 nationwide, but still had plenty of improvement left in her.

“It really is a great reward for all the hard work I’ve put in this semester,” she said.

“This semester has been a big one for me. I’ve really been working hard, and my game has developed immensely along with my strength and endurance.

“I’ve probably also never enjoyed being on the court as much as I am right now.

“It has been the hardest I’ve been pushed in a long time and that’s definitely credit to my coach for pushing me and developing my game as much as he has.

“Next semester my goal will be to increase my singles ranking, but really my ultimate goal is to get our team ranked and playing in nationals.

“At this stage my next match will be our spring season opener in February, which I couldn’t be any more exited for.

“We have a really exciting season coming up – it is going to be tough but it’s also going to be a lot of fun, so I’m really looking forward to it.”

McDonald’s coach Randall Knox said he was proud of her dedication.

“The ranking she’s accomplished is a reflection of her hard work throughout the fall,” he said.

“I’m really excited for her and I’m looking forward to the spring season and how far she can climb the singles rankings.

“I’m also looking forward to the spring with our team and the new incoming recruits and seeing how far we can climb in team rankings.”

Knox said McDonald provided a solid foundation for the future of Blue Mountain College’s tennis program, which was restarted only four years ago.

The entire November 27, 2019 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

The entire November 27, 2019 edition of AgLife is available online. READ IT HERE!