RCC Ladies tennis player Elina Arakelyan is representing Rockland County well these days.
Arakelyan, originally of Romania and niece of a former tennis pro who once reached #35 in the world, won the 2015 NJCAA Region XV DIII Womens Singles Crown last week and will be traveling to Georgia to compete in the nationals on October 23. She is taking doubles partner Brooke Strieter along with her for the ride.
Arakelyan said her match took her through a variety of emotions. “At the beginning of the match I was actually feeling very confident. During the match it was intense, I was nervous. I am happy I dealt with the pressure and happy with the result,” she said.
The match was won 7-5, 6-0, indicating Arakelyan gained an edge as the match went on. She said the keys to success were “Being consistent, keeping the ball in the game more. Play smart, make her run a lot.”
Now as the 21-year-old gets ready for the biggest tournament of her life she plans on practicing heavily. She said, “I’m going to have practices everyday for four hours and if necessary, more. I am going to try to do best my best and not to think about the victory, because I have to win one by one. I will prepare with my team coach, team and personal coach.”
Her victory in the regionals has her setting her new goals. “I’m pretty sure I will play in a bigger college. I am sure I will play better as I face bigger challenges.”
Arakelyan started playing tennis at the age of 6 and by the time she was 11 was already playing tournaments back in Romania. She moved to Rockland County four years ago.
Her doubles partner Brooke Strieter, 18, said she can’t get over her good luck of being matched up with Arakelyan. “We just met a month ago, yesterday was our second match ever playing together,” she said. “I have goosebumps, I never thought I’d be able to experience something like that [a national tournament].”