Senior Spotlight – Women’s tennis: Caroline Tisdell and Elizabeth Rhode
Nate Rickard, Staff Writer
October 6, 2011
Filed under Sports
As we grow older, we lose interest in things. It’s human nature. Some things simply lose their luster. But there are some things that we can never let go. Some things that we can’t ever imagine being without. For senior tennis player, Caroline Tisdell, that “thing” is being on the tennis court.
“My sister used to take me out on the court with her when she would play and I would be her ball girl. Then for the last five minutes she would actually let me hit.” For Tisdell, this is where her love of the sport was planted. In fourth grade she began taking lessons from men’s coach Steve Underwood and never looked back. From that moment on, she has grown to become a tennis-lifer.
Through her career, two of the core philosophies instilled in Tisdell have been to never give up and always play hard. These are two approaches to her game that she continually delivers on. Coming to Le Moyne as a freshman recruit, Tisdell hit the ground running. “I came in and started third singles. To come in and to be one of the top three players was exciting for me.”
Tisdell embodies a drive that only a lifer could. Last season, Tisdell was sidelined with a broken foot and missed the entire fall season. After training all winter to get back into shape for the spring season, she returned better than ever and finished the season at first singles while posting an 8-3 record.
When discussing the freshmen on the team, Tisdell, responds, “I hope they encourage themselves too. Every one of them has an amazing talent and potential to do great things. I just hope they have fun and never forget why they started and love tennis.” Spoken like a true lifer.
When we picture a college athlete, we often forget they are student-athletes. Student coming first. College athletes have to have focus, balance and passion. But those words only scratch the surface of senior tennis captain Elizabeth Rhode. Rhode exemplifies these qualities with ease as she has remained a scholar athlete while still competing in the fall and spring seasons.
But it’s not just focus and balance for Rhode. Against pace of her biggest attributes is her patience. Just ask Pace University. In her sophomore year, with the game on the line and down both sets, Rhode rallied back and won her match and gave Le Moyne the victory. Something she calls “my greatest achievement.” But for all the work she displays on the courts, she always displays it in the classroom, “I’ve had a great experience at Le Moyne and feel that my education here has prepared me for the real world.”
For Rhode to accomplish as much as she has in her four years is remarkable to say the least, as she only started playing tennis her junior year of high school. “It was a late decision but I decided to switch over from soccer. I liked that it was an individual, but yet a team sport at the same time.” This is a testament to her passion for the sport, a passion which won’t fade anytime soon.
With a plan of going off to the city and working with a financial institution, a move she calls “living the dream,” her yearning to play will never falter,
“I definitely will continue to play in leagues and clubs post-graduation.” Rhode is the quintessential student athlete and once she leaves Le Moyne, she only hopes for the program to grow, just as she will in whatever endeavors she faces in the future.