Bressler Captures Goucher Invitational Title

Jimmy Fisher, Reporter

Junior women’s tennis player Brittany Bressler had not received a lot of playing time this fall sea- son, but showed that she belongs on the courts with the best.

Bressler, along with the rest of the women’s tennis team, competed in the team’s first ever Goucher Invitational in Townson, Maryland Sept. 28 and 29.

Bressler competed in two match- es on the first day and then in the championship match the following day and won first place in her division to lead the team overall.

Bressler, who is not a regular starter on the women’s team, said her victory came as a surprise.

“It blew my mind, actually,” said Bressler. “I mean I’m not one of the starters, so I don’t get a lot of playing time, but my coach just told me to go out and have fun so I went out, had fun and wound up winning the whole thing.”

Although tennis offers singles and doubles matches, it is still a team sport, and Bressler’s teammates showed her that through their strong support after her victory.

“We are all such a supportive team, so everyone was watching everyone’s match,” said Bressler. “It’s always nice because I walked off the court and everyone ran over and was giving me hugs and everything, and same goes for our doubles team. Our doubles team won for second doubles and we were all giving them high fives and hugging. It’s like a little family.”

Second year head coach Justin Muthler was pleased with his group overall, and he was proud of Bressler’s victory and the hard work she has put into the season.

“She played an incredible tournament,” said Muthler. “She doesn’t normally make the starting lineup for us, so her going there and beating other teams’ fours was very impressive. It spoke highly of our depth.”

Muthler has a history with the tennis team, having been a player on the men’s team when the program started in 2008.

Bressler believes her game has improved since Muth- ler’s hiring as head coach two years ago.

“He’s made me a tremendous player compared to what I was,” Bressler said. “I wouldn’t have been able to get onto that singles court if he hadn’t prepared me for
it. He’s younger, so we’re able to connect more with him, and he’s always telling us what we can do better and what our strengths are so that we can just improve on them.”

Despite Bressler’s claims that her coach helped make her the player she is today, Muthler disagrees and said she had it in her all along. He said he was there to help when she needed it.

“It’s all her,” said Muthler. “I’m just along to guide her and she played one (heck) of a tournament.”

The women’s tennis team concluded its fall season with the MAC Championships on Oct. 5 and 6 with Bressler making it to the finals in the seventh flight and losing in the championship.

Muthler said he was happy with his team’s effort, but said players hope to improve.

I would say a lot of our girls would tell you that they under performed,” said Muthler.

“They’ve worked hard and I think their nerves got the best of them, whether it was a senior knowing it was her last run or a freshman competing in her first experience. Once again Bressler had another nice tournament. She made the finals at seventh and we had an all-Misericordia doubles finals at four doubles, so that was also our depth showing.”

With a successful fall season in the books – which includes a 5-2 regular season record – Muthler believes the team is ready for the next season.

“I think we’ll be ready for the spring,” said Muthler. “We have work to do, but hopefully things work out in our favor.”

Bressler said the fall season and tournaments help contribute to the team’s preparation, as does the spring break trip the team takes just as the season gets underway.

Although lack of playing time kept Bressler under the radar, she believes her win will make people more aware of who she is and what she can accomplish on the courts.

“My coaches were really impressed with me, all of my teammates were texting me like ‘Aw you’re on the website, congratulations!’ The reason I don’t get enough play is because everyone is such a solid player. I do get playing time when we play schools that aren’t on our level, but my coach makes sure that everybody gets their time on the court, which is awesome. Most coaches would only be like, ‘Oh we’re going to fo- cus on the starters,’ but he makes sure that everyone is recognized.”

It is unclear whether Bressler will be getting more time on the courts once the spring rolls around, but she has proven she is capable.

“It’ hard to say,” said Bressler. “We have more matches in the spring so I will have more opportunities, and also I feel like I’ve proven what I can do. Hopefully, they notice that I want to win, and they put me out there for more challenges because I love to compete.”

[email protected]