|Esker paves the way for Redbird women’s tennis|
|Written by Scott Schnorr, Daily Vidette Staff Writer|
|Tuesday, 28 September 2010 19:29|
College student-athletes are often overwhelmed with work, school and sports. Yet, it is very rare to find someone that can succeed in all three aspects.
For Illinois State women’s tennis player junior Hannah Esker, the lifestyle associated with being a student-athlete has been no easy task.
But, the junior’s success in the above aspects has made her a well-recognized role model for all her teammates, both on and off the court.
Esker grew up in Effingham, Ill., where she played tennis all four years at Effingham St. Anthony High School.
Her high school resume included a ninth-place finish in singles at the Illinois state tournament her sophomore and junior year.
Senior year, Esker teamed up with her sister, Heather, to form a doubles team that finished second team all state.
Soon after, Esker made the decision to come to ISU, where she has proven to be a vital part of the tennis team.
Since her freshman year, Esker has shattered the record books and now holds the second best singles record in the history of ISU women’s tennis.
Last week, Esker won her first fall season singles title at the Ball State Invitational, and she is hoping that it is a start to another great season.
But tennis is only one of Esker’s many skills. She is also very well-known for her expertise outside the tennis courts and inside the classroom.
After looking at many schools to apply to, Esker chose ISU based on its impressive actuarial science program.
Today, Esker is still an actuarial science major and has held a 4.0 GPA every semester since freshman year, putting her on the honor roll two years running.
Having the hectic schedule that Esker does, it’s tough to manage time for everything.
“It’s all about time management. Before I go to bed, I go over my schedule for the next day, assigning myself something to do basically hour by hour,” Esker said.
It’s been her simple way of accomplishing tasks throughout college and has proved to work very well for her.
ISU head coach Chris Hoover has now been working with Esker for three years, and relies on Esker to be the team leader.
“We have a lot of new student-athletes this year, the team is very young, and Esker has proved that she can lead this team to another great season as both the captain and role model,” Hoover said.
With as busy of a schedule that Esker has, it is not easy for her to find a break in the action.
“It’s hard to find free time, and when I do, I rest,” Esker said.
“If I’m not resting, I’m usually hanging with the girls from the team. The team is great, it’s a lot younger team, but it’s a team with a personality and great chemistry,” she added.
Esker has high expectations for the team this year, and explains that having good chemistry is vital for doing well throughout the season.
Esker’s goals for both herself and the team include winning the MVC singles title and also helping lead the team to an undefeated conference record.
The team will be taking this weekend off and preparing to host next weekend’s Missouri Valley Conference Individual Championship as the Redbirds hope to complete another successful tournament with Esker likely leading the way.
Esker hopes to continue her successes throughout the next two years, and will continue to prove herself as a great leader both in the classroom and on the courts.