When she won her match point on court No. 6 against Radford on Friday, graduate student Olivia Archer knew exactly what she had just accomplished. The victory etched Archer’s name atop the Elon University women’s tennis team’s record book.
After tying it on Wednesday against the University of Delaware, she surpassed the program’s all-time career singles wins record, winning the 69th match of her career with a tough 6-0, 7-5 victory. The win was part of Elon’s 6-1 victory against the Radford University Highlanders.
Entering today, Archer said she wanted to pay homage and draw inspiration from Elon’s previous singles win record holder, Frida Jansanker, who played from 2011 to 2014, who won 68 career singles matches.
“I want to be on the level of such a top-tier player like Frida,” Archer said. “She was such a hard worker. She was definitely a fiery girl, and I was like, ‘I want to embody those characteristics.’”
Archer said that while tennis is a very team-oriented sport, it has been important for her to have individual goals to serve as motivators. She said she had been counting down the days of this possible moment since the beginning of the season.
After a 6-0 win in her first set, some frustration began to build for Archer in the second, which was a much tighter affair. When tension started to build, she said she was able to remind herself of how much her teammates had been pushing her and the sheer amount of practice and matches she had under her belt.
“I think I put a lot of pressure on myself, which is very understandable,” said Archer. “I wanted to not only put a point up on the board, but I also wanted to achieve the goal I had set for myself.”
Archer went on to prevail 7-5 in her second set, which simultaneously won her own match and broke the Elon singles win record.
Senior Shauna Galvin sprinted onto the court in tears to give Archer a hug immediately after her match finished. Galvin has been with Archer for four of her five years at Elon.
Not even a rain delay in doubles could deter Archer from history. As the storm died down, Elon’s coaches began to dry off the courts with towels, but it did not take long before Archer jumped in. She was on her knees trying to get the courts of the Jimmy Powell Tennis Center dried off as quickly as possible to have the matches resumed.
“She's always looking for ways to help,” head coach Elizabeth Anderson said. “In addition to the fantastic player that she is, she's an amazing leader and is always willing to pitch in and help. She wanted to play. She was just ready to get those lines dry.”
On top of a historic day for Archer, the Phoenix dominated the rest of the match. Elon is now 10-0 all-time against Radford. Senior Julie Ball and freshman Madison Cordisco routed their doubles opponent 6-1. The pairing has won six of its last seven matches. Shortly after, Archer and freshman Helen Sarikulaya clinched the doubles point with a 6-0 victory.
With the win, the Phoenix moves to 14-4 on the season. The first two singles victories came from Sarikulaya, Ball. Junior Lizette Reding clinched for the Phoenix and Archer won next, followed by a 6-3, 7-5 win from senior Sibel Tanik. Cordisco dropped the only point of the day in her first-time playing No. 3 singles in a 6-4, 7-5 loss.