Evolve or Repeat? How Syracuse Tennis is a Different Team From a Year Ago.

Friday, Feb 02, 2024 at 10:14 am by Sports Editor

By Josh Richardson | @joshrichy_04

For the second straight season, Syracuse Tennis starts its season 4-0. Last year, the winning streak was capped at nine, before going 2-10 in its last 12 matches. It’s easy to write this squad off and think that it’s the same old story with the same old team, but Drumlins is shining with optimism and here’s why:


It’s been utter domination through four matches this season. Syracuse has not lost a single doubles match let alone give up the point. Its toughest test was against Cornell when two lineups had to fight back in multiple sets to secure the win. Last year, SU dropped the doubles point against Delaware and lost a match against Boston University. The momentum that can be carried over from doubles into singles has been crucial and is extremely evident for this team. 

The Replacement:

The Orange returned five of six players from last year’s squad. Zeynep Erman was the lone loss for this program, and she has some big shoes to fill. Erman was the consistent #1 or #2 singles player on the roster, and it wasn’t going to be easy to find someone to step in and accept the responsibility of handling that role… Or so they thought. Graduate Student Polina Kozyreva has effortlessly slid into the #2 position on this team behind Miyuka Kimoto, and has shined. In all four matches, she’s won in straight sets, never giving up more than three games per set. With top-end talent like Kimoto and Kozyreva, it can relieve pressure from the lower singles, especially those who may still be new to the program. Which brings me to my final point.

New Kids on the Block:

Last season, Syracuse Tennis had no depth. Six players on the roster in total, meaning if someone goes down, one doubles match and one singles match is an automatic forfeit. While you can never predict injuries, the wear and tear that multiple matches per week can put on your body with no rest is draining. It was bound to happen eventually and it did. Now, however, that has changed with three new roster additions for SU. Anastasia Sysoeva, Constance Levivier, and Emily Elde are three names that Head Coach Younes Limam can mix around and play when need be. These three aren’t just backups by any means either. Sysoeva and Levivier have won in straight sets for every singles match they’ve played, while Elde is 1-1 in her two respective matches. This gives Limam some breathing room, and when players need a day or possibly weekend off, he has choices on how to operate his team a little more than we saw just one year ago. 


With a roster full of returning faces and some new ones as well, it is evident that Syracuse Tennis has changed up their game since last season. The only question for this team: How will they do when facing the best of the best when conference play begins against Boston College on February 17th? The Orange went 4-10 against ACC opponents last year. Until then, you have to play the teams in front of you, and next up for SU is a date in the Big Apple against Columbia, Sunday at 3:00.