Huskies tennis athletes and sisters Emma and Olivia Herzog have been a force to be reckoned with in the Big Nine conference this year, currently boasting a combined record of 35-6 on the season.
Senior Olivia Herzog currently stands at an overall record of 12-4 in the regular season in the Huskies’ No. 1 singles spot, while freshman Emma Herzog has earned a 13-2 record.
Both sisters also hold a strong in-conference record of 8-2 on the season.
“Both of them have been a pleasure to coach. They both work hard. Emma especially likes to learn. Olivia is such a gifted athlete that she kind of just goes out sometimes and does her thing, and she’s just so athletic the results are what they are. It’s been a real pleasure to see both of them grow even though there’s that three-year gap in between,” said head coach Curt Matejcek.
Olivia Herzog said she’s noticed growth in her sister’s game throughout the year, highlighting her mental fortitude.
“I think she usually keeps her mental state pretty good,” said Olivia of Emma. “No matter what’s happening, even if she’s down, she’ll come back and play as good as she can.”
Both Emma and Olivia participate in singles for the team, which breeds competition in practice.
According to the two sisters, practices can occasionally get heated and competitive as neither wants to lose or be outdone by the other.
Matejcek is a fan of the competition. He said that the two build each other up and make one another’s games stronger by consistently pushing each other.
He has reason to be appreciative of this competitive spirit.
With the Big Nine conference playoffs coming up, he fully expects the two to make a run in the tournament.
“We have some tough competition with the Rochester [teams], but the team is pretty good this year,” said Olivia.
Although lineups aren’t yet official for the tournament, Matejcek said he expects Olivia to represent the team in the singles section.
“I’m guessing, knowing the competition that’s in our section, she’s going to still stay in singles and try to compete at that highest level.”
Each team will send two singles players and two doubles teams to the team tournament the following week, which is where Matejcek will have to decide where to slate in Emma.
With Emma rotating between the third and fourth position in the singles section during the regular season, Matejcek will have to decide whether she will be his second singles athlete or if she will be paired up for the doubles section.
Matejcek said it will be a tough decision, but he has the utmost confidence that the two will succeed in any position he puts them in.