Alejandra Galvis rides winning streak


Jenna Reeves/Iowa State Daily

Junior Alejandra Galvis returns the ball during singles play against Nebraska-Omaha on Jan. 30, 2015 at Ames Racquet and Fitness. The Cyclones swept the match 7-0.

Brian Mozey

Junior Alejandra Galvis thought she lost her match when the tennis ball hit the top of the net.

Galvis was down 6-5 in the deciding third set tiebreaker, match point for West Virginia. Her opponent, Habiba Shaker, hit a forehand that struck the top of the net. The ball seemingly hovered atop net, finally spinning backward onto Shaker’s side of the court.

When the ball dropped, Galvis knew it was a win for her and her team. She would go on to win the tiebreaker 13-11 to capture the second win of the Big 12 season. This win led to a five-match win streak in singles for Galvis.

The win against West Virginia was her first win leading to a current five-match win streak in singles play and a 10-2 record with four unfinished matches during the regular season.

“I knew [Galvis] was determined to win that match [against West Virginia] and I had full confidence in her,” said coach Armando Espinosa. “Everything like her strategy, game play, practice and confidence is working well for her.”

Since coming from Lindsey Wilson College after her sophomore year, Galvis said she’s been practicing harder and better than ever before to stay in the singles and doubles lineup throughout the entire regular season.

Freshman Anna Garcia, a close teammate to Galvis, agreed with her that she’s been practicing harder than many players on the team, saying she wants to win every time she goes onto the court.

“It was nice getting a lot of wins at Lindsey Wilson, but I never really played full out because I didn’t have to,” Galvis said. “Here at Iowa State, it’s an entirely different playing field.”

Espinosa said that she’s been focusing on improving her strength and conditioning because Lindsey Wilson didn’t put much attention on that part of the game. She needed to improve on being fit to play all three sets.

If she could be conditioned for all three sets, Espinosa said he knew she wouldn’t lose with her exceptional forehand and backhand power. This would allow Espinosa to be confident in a sure win at her position.

“I want to give the team a guaranteed win at the number four singles because we can’t always rely on the top three spots due to the level of competition,” Galvis said.

That definite win has worked well for Galvis this season and has allowed the players and coaches to rely on her for important victories. The pressure she faces in some of her matches has shown her leadership and team orientated mindset throughout this entire season.

Looking into the future, Galvis and sophomore Samantha Budai will be leading the team next season. Seniors Meghan Cassens, Ksenia Pronina and Caroline Andersen will leave after this season and the leadership will be passed down.

“We’re losing three very important players after this season and Sami [Budai] and I will need to step in next season to help the new recruits,” Galvis said.

Budai has been playing number one singles throughout this regular season and Galvis has a steady spot at number four. After this season, number two and three spots will be open and Galvis said she’s ready to do anything to benefit the team.

She’s going to be staying at Iowa State this upcoming summer to work with the tennis trainers and improve her strength and conditioning. Galvis said she wants to prepare herself to play any position in the singles lineup, either number two or stay at the fourth position.

“This summer will prepare me to be successful next season and improve my leadership for my senior year,” Galvis said. “Armando likes the idea and is fully behind my decision to stay here.”

Espinosa said he likes Galvis’ decision to stay this summer because it already shows her leadership. He expects the members on the current roster to step up next season and show the new recruits how to play ISU tennis.

Galvis enjoys the winning streak because it’s leading to wins for the ISU tennis team leading into Big 12 play.

“We still have a chance of going far into the Big 12 championship, but I’m hoping to continue my success in singles to benefit the team,” Galvis said.