Medina High Grad and Baldwin Wallace University Freshman Krista Marshall Adds
Depth and Chemistry to the Women’s Tennis Team
By: Matthew Florjancic
BEREA, OHIO — Nineteen year Head Coach Jack Bethlenfalvy, a recent winner of his 200th career match when the Baldwin Wallace University women’s tennis team defeated Cleveland cross-town rival Case Western Reserve University, 8-1, on April 4, has seen his program undergo a youth movement in the past three years.
One of Bethlenfalvy’s solid youngsters is freshman fifth singles and second doubles player Krista marshall, a graduate of Medina Senior High School.
"Krista is part of a very young team that is very talented," said Bethlenfalvy. "When we entered the year, my thought was that we would be good this year, but a year away from really contending for the Ohio Athletic Conference title secuase we were so very young. But our freshman, including Krista have gotten better and better and now we feel that we have a great shot to win it this year."
Marshall is part of a Yellow Jacket lineup that does not include a senior.
Sophomore Andrea Isaac, the 2004 OAC Player of the Year, is at number one singles and freshman Megan Glassburn plays second singles and teams with Isaac as the first doubles team. Freshman Tiffany Allison plays No.3 and juniors Ashley Sanders and Kristen Thomson alternate at No.4. Marshall is at No.5 and junior Lizz Moore plays No.6.
This group of youngsters are not playing like youngsters as they currently own a 12-3 overall and perfect 3-0 OAC record.
"Our record is indicative of the way we have played," said Bethlenfalvy. "One of our wins is against Division II Ashland University. Again, the best part of this team is that there is not one senior and all of the women get along well together. We have great team chemistry."
Marshall, a 19-year old health promotions and education major, began her tennis career at an early age.
"I started when I was younger just for fun," said Marshall, who is 7-10 overall in singles play and 14-4 in doubles. "I kept playing all my life and started joining teams."
Marshall took this early beginning to Medina Senior High School of the Pioneer Conference.
While in high school, Marshall played junior varsity basketball for a season. During the springtime, she played four years of tennis and garnered four letters.
Along with the team honors, Marshall earned several accolades.
During her four-year career, she was a four-time All-Pioneer Conference first-team selection and a three-year All-Medina County Gazette pick.. Marshall was also chosen to the Pioneer Conference All-Academic team and was given the Medina Booster Club Unsung Hero Award.
It was during her senior year at Medina where Marshall set a school record with a 17-8 mark. She went undefeated in the Pioneer Conference.
Marshall, along with individual success, played on many great teams.
"All four years in high school, we won the Pioneer Conference," said Marshall, who most recently has combined with Tiffany Allison to compile a 12-1 mark between second and third doubles for the Yellow Jackets. "We had a great team my senior year. The whole team got along so well. That is the same way it has been at BW."
Coach Bethlenfalvy noticed her game and knew she could bring something special to the BW program.
"Krista has a great attitude and is always smiling," said Bethlenfalvy. "She has great strokes and when she is playing steady, she is tough to beat.
"Krista also is a good student, both in the classroom and on the tennis court," said Bethlenfalvy. "She always wants to learn, to improve to become better. That is the type of student and player we want at Baldwin Wallace University. We are very happy to have her in our program."
Before choosing a college, Marshall looked at several colleges, including other OAC schools. However, when it came time to make a decision, she chose BW.
"The tennis program here [at BW] is good," said Marshall. "I came up to one of the matches [last spring] and the girls were really supportive of each other. That is the type of team I like to be a part of.
"I am glad I made this decision [to come to BW]," Marshall added.
When she got to college, Marshall noticed some differences between the high school and collegiate levels.
"The people are all good at the college level," she said. "They all really want to play. It makes you a better player too because you can’t take any opponent for granted."
Marshall feels that Coach Bethlenfalvy and her new teammates helped make the adjustment from high school to college less stressful.
"The coach and the girls on the team made it easy," said Marshall. "I came to practice and they wanted to get to know me and were really supportive. It has really become a comfortable situation and has made it better for me both in the classroom and on the court."
When she first put on the Brown & Gold of the Yellow Jackets, Marshall felt ready to show her skills.
"I was really excited," she said. "I was ready to show people that I really wanted to be here to play tennis."
Since she started the season, Marshall’s teammates began to notice her attitude and abilities.
"Krista is a fun-loving, sweet girl," said Isaac, the school record-holder for wins in a season by a freshman with 19 (a 19-1 slate en route to player-of-the-year accolades). "Krista is always lifting people up with her spirit and enthusiasm. She is the first one to give you a high-five when you are down and need encoragement. She is a great teammate."
Before a match, Marshall likes to loosen up and talk with her teammates.
"I like a good warm-up beforehand," said Marshall. "All of us get together and talk about what we want to do to win. You just have to mentally prepare yourself and stay emotionally calm."
Although she has experienced success at the college level, Marshall has the goal of becoming a better player.
"I have not played as well in singles as I am capable, but I definitely want to win the majority of the matches," Marshall said. "For doubles, my partner [Tiffany Allison] and I want to go undefeated in the OAC and so far we have accomplished that goal and have six OAC matches left to go."
The Yellow Jackets next play on Friday (April 8) at Wooster and then host a doubleheader in Berea on Saturday (April 9) against Oberlin College at 9:30 a.m. and versus OAC-rival Marietta College at 1:00 p.m.
Marshall and the rest of her teammates set the goal of winning an OAC Championship for the season.
"We really want to win the OAC title this year," Marshall said. "We are really pumped about it and we think we can do it. Now we just have to go out and do it."
Coach Bethlenfalvy also believes the team could bring home some hardware this season and feels the youth on the team will play a large role.
"We have a young, talented team, "Bethlenfalvy said. "That goal [of an OAC Championship] is within reach."
Following its matches this weekend, BW has a pair of away matches next week as they travel to Westerville to play Otterbein College on Tuesday (April 12) and then play at Muskingum College on Saturday (April 16). The 2005 OAC Tournament is on April 29-30 at Otterbein.