Elizabeth Martin brings fresh talent to the tennis team

Abby Smith Oct 28, 2012

New to the Carnegie Mellon women’s tennis team is the fun and fearless first-year Elizabeth Martin, hailing from St. Simon’s Island, Ga. Since the beginning of the season, Martin has consistently been one of the top players on the team, in spite of her transition into college life.

“I’ve been pleased with my performance and my team’s performance so far this season. Even though college tennis is more pressure than high school, I think I’ve adjusted well,” Martin said. “I really love playing for the team.”

In the Carnegie Mellon Invitational last month, Martin paired with sophomore Jana Motie to defeat Duquesne University 8–5 and won her singles match 8–2. Her dominance continued into the ITA Regional, where she was originally ninth-ranked and advanced to a highly contested championship match against sophomore Megan Buell of Washington & Lee University.

In addition to her strong singles matches, Martin paired with sophomore Bryn Raschke to defeat senior Sallie Griffin and sophomore Allison Hupalo of Washington & Lee 8–2 in the quarterfinals. The pair then dropped the semifinal match to Buell and junior Claire Cahill of Washington & Lee in a tightly contested 8–6 match.

Her passionate tennis playing has not gone unnoticed by her teammates. Raschke described Martin as the “ideal partner, who always keeps the atmosphere fun on the team.”

“Elizabeth was really fun to play with,” she said. “We laughed and joked a lot, which is one of the reasons I love doubles, so it was great having a partner who was really enjoying herself. She’s so fun, and the way she chooses to end points by whacking her backhand for winners was awesome. She was always willing to try something new. ITA’s really shown how solid of a player Elizabeth is.”

The admiration seems to be mutual, as Martin said that she decided to come to Carnegie Mellon because of the “close-knit atmosphere” of the 11-member team.

“While we always are tough in competition, we love to have fun and joke with each other,” Martin said. “Our group text messages always make me giggle.”

Along with her laughs come her tennis aspirations; Martin hopes to win a national title as “either an individual or a team” during her college career. “An NCAA Division III championship would be absolutely incredible,” Martin said.

“Elizabeth has been a great young addition to our roster. She brings a positive and hard-working attitude to practice every day, and I expect an excellent rookie season from her,” assistant coach Mike Belmonte said.

Martin is not only serious about her tennis playing; she has high expectations regarding her schoolwork as well. Currently a decision science major, she hopes to go to medical school to become an allergist.

“I find the immune system fascinating,” Martin said. “I know, I’m so weird.”

With a full course load, Martin is the first to say, “It’s so much work.” But, always keeping a smile on her face, she said “my favorite class is chemistry when I get extra credit.”

The tennis season will pick up again in February, where a bubbly Martin looks forward to “representing the Carnegie Mellon team and something other than myself. I feel serious and committed when I [put on] that Tartan uniform. And I don’t like to lose while wearing it.”