Superlatives! Most Likely To’s for Syracuse Tennis

Friday, Feb 23, 2024 at 4:41 pm by Sports Editor

Josh Richardson | @joshrichy_04

Seven matches into this season, Syracuse Tennis sits 6-1 and 1-0 in the ACC. Outside of the 5-2 loss to Columbia down in NYC, it’s been total domination for SU up at Drumlins. The closest match for the Orange has been a 5-2 win over Boston College, and a 4-0 win over UMass which was stopped early after Syracuse clinched a win. With a stacked weekend coming up in matches against Clemson and Georgia Tech, what better time for some team superlatives. 


Most Likely To… be an All-American: Viktoriya Kanapatskaya


This is a no-brainer. Kanapatskaya claimed an AA spot in 2021 and the senior is well on her way to grab another this year. Viktoriya began the season playing #3 singles but has moved up to #2 in the last few matches. She is 4-1 in singles this year with the lone loss coming against Columbia. Three of those four wins have been in straight sets and her dominance doesn’t stop there. Kanapatskaya is 4-1-1 in doubles as she has built chemistry with Shiori Ito. It’s been a strong start to the season for the senior, but only time will tell if she can add her name to the banner one more time.


Most Likely To… Not Lose Again for the Rest of the Regular Season: Polina Kozyreva


By no means is this saying she WILL run the table from here on out, but after 7 matches she is the most likely to do so. Kozyreva has been nothing short of spectacular in her graduate year at SU. She sits 6-1 in singles this season with every win in straight sets. In her lone loss, she won the first set but just couldn’t hang on. In doubles, she hasn’t lost yet. The combination of her and senior Ines Fonte has given viewers a few scares and some high blood pressure at times, but always finds a way to get the job done. Sitting consistently at #2 or #3 in the singles order, it is very possible that Kozyreva doesn’t find herself losing many more matches come April. 


Most Likely To… Be the Team MVP: Everyone


Okay okay this might be a cheesy or cliché answer but it’s true. There are so many people this award could go to for so many different reasons. Junior Miyuka Kimoto is 3-2 in singles, always taking the responsibility of facing the opposing schools best player. The dominance of Kanapatskaya and Kozyreva has already been discussed. This is a team award, because this team needs everyone in order to succeed. Last season, a multitude of injuries derailed the season. The roster of the minimum six players was not deep enough to withstand a pebble in a shoe much less a significant injury. When someone went down, it meant an automatic forfeit of both a doubles and singles match. Now it’s an eight person rotation for Head Coach Younes Limam. If someone goes down, there are replacements, there are other options. That doesn’t happen without people wanting to play here, and people don’t want to play here unless there is a culture and community surrounding this team. The MVP is every member of the roster. Plain and simple.




There are still 13 more matches to be played this season. A lot can happen and a lot can change. Last season is a perfect example. But now, Syracuse Tennis plays strong and tough and is ready for any opponent that comes its way. This weekend the Orange will have two shots at wins, in matchups against Clemson tomorrow at 3, and Georgia Tech, Sunday at 11. The Yellow Jackets eliminated the Orange in the ACC Tournament last spring. Both matches are at Drumlins Country Club.