When Oregon women’s tennis brought in five new players for fall season, head coach Alison Silverio said the main factor the newcomers needed was simply “gaining the experience.”
Now, nearing the end of the winter season, it is one of those newcomers who has stepped up for Oregon as a singles player.
Freshman Shweta Sangwan currently holds the best singles record on the team: 16-5 overall. For the week of Feb. 22, the India-native was ranked No. 116 in singles by the ITA heading into play against Boise State.
In the match against the Broncos, Sangwan secured her sixth straight win with a 6-2, 6-1 victory.
“I thought she executed really well today,” Silverio said of Sangwan after the win over Boise State.
Sangwan came to the UO by way of Bradenton, Florida, where she moved, when she was 10 years old, on scholarship to IMG Academy to play tennis.
“There’s definitely more opportunities if you play in the U.S.,” Sangwan said. “There’s more college offers and everything.”
Since coming to Oregon, Sangwan has thrived in both singles and doubles with her usual partner Kennan Johnson. The pair is currently 9-2 overall in doubles play after notching another win over Boise State last weekend.
Outside of doubles play, Silverio said Sangwan and the team as a whole have been “moving in the right direction.”
“I’m really pleased with how we are starting to transfer the work we are doing in practice to our matches.”
Sangwan, specifically, has been working on her serve in recent practices. That extra effort showed in her Sunday singles match.
But Sangwan says that good coaching, compared to her coaching experience before, has been a component in her success as well.
“I’d say the coaching here is really different …the people here are more passionate,” Sangwan said. “I know I can trust someone who will make me better.”
Because Sangwan beat an unranked player from unranked Boise State last weekend, she dropped out of the ITA standings for this week. However, she will have the chance to jump back into the ranks this weekend when Oregon starts Pac-12 play at home against Washington State and Washington. Play against Washington State begins Friday at 1:30 p.m.
Heading into the next matches of the season and Pac-12 play, Sangwan is hopeful for not just herself, but the team as a whole.
“We’re ready, we’re prepared.”