Ursuline’s Tsudis, Hoang pooled talents for tourney


Tsudis, Hoang pooled talents for tourney

By Dan Hiner

dhiner@vindy.com

Boardman

Vy Hoang and Lexi Tsudis were singles players on the Ursuline girls tennis team prior to the season. But the two teamed up and decided to play as double’s partners for their senior seasons.

The move paid off as the duo is heading to the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason for the Division II state tournament.

“First few matches of the season, we got some comments like, ‘You’re both singles players playing on the same court ... doubles not quite yet.’ That took a lot of work and practice getting used to each other,” Hoang said.

The Ursuline coaching staff proposed the idea of teaming up to Hoang and Tsudis.

The partners spent time practicing against Austin Arfaras and Greg Morgione from the Ursuline boys team at the Boardman Tennis Center this week.

The coaching staff and the boys team helped Hoang and Tsudis develop as doubles partners. Ursuline head coach Kent Blacksher allowed the girls to compete against the boys so they could get a better understanding of each other on the court.

“The support that we got from the coaching staff was really amazing,” Hoang said. “Wanting to help us, helping us with those tips, trying to find people for us to hit with like the boys team ... willing to be there and help us is really, really helpful.

“If we didn’t have that, I don’t thing we’d have such a strong mental game and won at districts.”

The 2018 season wasn’t the first time the two competed with each other. They played as doubles partners prior to attending Ursuline.

“We met almost four or five years ago in eighth grade, middle school,” Hoang said. “We played doubles together at Youngstown Country Club. We always played together and it just so happened that we ended up going to Ursuline together.”

The two players have completely different personalities.

Tsudis is energetic and excited for the opportunity. Her twin brother, Luke, qualified for state as a freshman in 2015 and she always wanted to play on that stage. Hoang is more relaxed and views the state tournament as just another set of matches.

“I think she’s more excited than I am,” Hoang said. “I think that she gets me excited and I calm her down. We’re like the Yin and Yang, I’m the composure and she’s the hype.”

It’s the first time the two will compete at state. Both qualified for districts in 2017 but were eliminated in the tournament.

“I went to districts [my] sophomore and junior years,” Tsudis said. “Facing the state champs both years, were sort of discouraging for me but I never lost hope.”

Ursuline held a send-off for Hoang and Tsudis on Wednesday. Hoang and Tsudis will face Gahanna Columbus Academy’s Carmen Merkel and Lauren Motta in the first round.

“I’m really happy to represent Ursuline,” Tsudis said. “It’s been a lot of fun representing them in the past districts and I’m super happy to represent them at state.”

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