Hard-Working Londre Leads Green Bay On and Off the Court
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) – With a team made up of just two sophomores and four freshmen, it would be understandable if leadership was lacking on Green Bay’s young women’s tennis squad. That hasn’t been the case, however, for first-year head coach Sommer May and the Phoenix, as sophomore Stephanie Londre (Burlington, Wis.) has stepped up to the challenge of leading her teammates both on and off the court.
She isn’t a person of many words, but she lets her actions do the talking.
“I just try to lead by example,” Londre said. “Being one of the oldest members of our team and probably the one with the most experience, I just try to show the other players what to do and how to do it. My mindset is to just always work hard and try to do my best – I know good things will come if I do that.”
While the 2014 campaign has been a challenging one for the inexperienced Green Bay team, May says Londre is helping lay the groundwork for the future of the program with her unwavering focus and her never-give-up attitude.
“As a coach of such a young team, you need somebody like Stephanie,” May said. “She has always been a solid tennis player, but she has really evolved into a team leader throughout this year. If you expect to perform well you have to practice well, and she does that every single day. She comes ready to work, and she pushes the other players to work harder by the effort that she shows.”
Londre has played the entire year at No. 1 singles, taking on the best players from each team that Green Bay faces. The sophomore leads the Phoenix with five singles wins (5-9 overall) – each of them coming at the top spot. She won four of five matches in late March and early April, and led Green Bay to its first victory of the year against St. Norbert College on April 5.
“It’s very impressive,” May said. “She has adjusted her game to be able to compete against the top players on each team. She’s become faster, stronger and she plays smarter. You have to have all three of those things in order to compete at the No. 1 spot.”
Two of her victories this year were three-setters, which is when Londre seems to be at her best.
“That’s always the way I’ve been – I just don’t like to give up,” Londre said. “Last year all of my wins were actually in three sets, so I’m used to being in that situation. When I’m in a third set I know that I have the ability to win because I’ve already won a set. I just have that confidence and I focus on what I did right in the set that I won, and try to execute that as best as possible.”
Londre’s cool, calm and collected mentality when it comes to three-set matches and other difficult situations is what her coach says makes her such a special player.
“Stephanie doesn’t ever back down,” May said. “She’s won several three-set matches, and that’s the time when you ask your players to dig deep and show you what they’ve got. She hits every single ball with complete focus and intensity. I’ve never seen a player as mentally tough as Steph.”
Not only has Londre been a standout on the court, she has also excelled in the classroom, where she is preparing to go to pharmacy school. She achieved a 4.0 grade-point average last semester despite having to balance a challenging class load with her tennis commitments.
“I think playing tennis really helps me balance things out when it comes to school,” Londre said. “I’ve always been very passionate about science and doing well in school. I dedicate a lot of my time to studying, so having tennis as an outlet actually helps me in the classroom.”
Londre and the Phoenix look to close out their regular season on a strong note with a trio of road matches this weekend. Green Bay first heads to Dayton to take on the Flyers on Friday at noon before traveling to face Northern Kentucky later that evening (7 p.m.). The Phoenix then wraps up the regular season on Saturday morning (9 a.m.) at Horizon League foe Wright State.
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