Featured Athlete
Emily Daniels
Emily Daniels
Women's Tennis
October 1, 2014

Hometown: Evergreen Park, Ill.
High School: Mother McAuley
Major: Psychology for Pre-OT

Emily Daniels and Allie DeRoo have helped the St. Ambrose women's tennis team get off to a great start several times this season. The No. 1 doubles team has five wins already this year, including a pair of victories Saturday.

The two came up with what proved to be a big 8-4 win over Loras in an eventual 5-4 SAU victory, and later teamed for an 8-1 win over Knox in a 9-0 shutout. The wins helped the Bees move to 4-2 in the early fall schedule.

Daniels has become a bit of a doubles specialist for SAU, playing just a handful of singles matches, primarily at the No. 4 and 5 spots, to this point of the season.

"Singles is not my forte, I guess you could say," Daniels said. "In singles, I like to stay on the baseline but I'm good at volleying so in doubles I can get to the net and end points quickly."

SAU head coach Rich Blomgren paired Daniels with DeRoo last year after DeRoo transferred in to St. Ambrose.

The two played No. 2 doubles much of last season before getting bumped up to the top spot this year. And the good friends off the court have proven to be a great combination on the court.

"We play a lot of good players. But we work well as a team because we are pretty similar and she's one of my best friends," Daniels said. "We take each point as it comes and if we lose a point, we don't let that carry over. And if one of us is having an off day, the other one is there to pick us up. We really help even each other out."

While most players play a doubles match and then turn right around for singles, Daniels often plays doubles then cheers on her teammates during singles action.

"If we lose, it's frustrating because I have time to think about what I could have done differently. What if I wouldn't have missed that easy volley or that serve. But if we win, it's a great feeling."

Playing off campus and not as a member of a conference doesn't give tennis the same profile as other sports at St. Ambrose.

"Tennis is not seen as that big of a sport, like a volleyball or basketball, but we're lucky to have lots of friends who don't play tennis who come out and watch us play. It's great to have them there."

The season continues with three home meets this week - Thursday at 3:30 p.m. vs. Monmouth and Saturday vs. St. Francis (Ill.) at 10 a.m. and vs. Wis.-Stevens Point at 2 p.m.

The season will carryover into the spring and end with NAIA Regionals.

But Daniels has pretty simple goals.

"We hope to have a winning record. We're just going to keep practicing hard."