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Feb. 1, 2012
University Park, Pa. -
Feature written by GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer Jeff Sattora
Competitive, aggressive, and talented, those are just a few of the many words that can be used to describe Penn State women’s tennis player Petra Januskova.
Januskova, a junior from Ottawa, Canada, is coming off a strong sophomore campaign, and looking to make a name for herself in not only the college tennis community, but eventually the professional one as well.
For Januskova, the love for the game is something she has had since she was a young girl, and something that has motivated her ever since.
“Growing up, both my sisters played tennis, which got me interested in the sport,” Januskova said. “Although I participated in many sports as a kid, I loved tennis the most from the moment I picked up the racquet. “
As a love for the game quickly grew for the young player, talent was quick to follow.
“Tennis came easier to me compared to all the other sports I was involved in and I loved it so much, so that's how I decided to pursue higher goals in this specific sport,” Januskova added.
That love and skill eventually led her to Happy Valley, where she has been a strong force for the Lions in her two plus years on campus.
Following a freshman campaign where she was named the ITA Atlantic Region Rookie Player of the Year, Januskova went on to compile a 25-18 record as a sophomore, earning her All-Big Ten First Team honors in 2010-11.
“To win championships and be nationally recognized, you need a number one player,” said women’s tennis head coach Dawna Denny. “Petra has established herself in the number one spot for the last three years,”
For Coach Denny having a player like Januskova can be a huge help when you’re trying to build a strong program.
“I knew from the start that Petra was going to be what we needed at Penn State,” Denny said. “We needed competitive nature, experience, and resilience.”
“Petra is committed to improvement and challenge. She continues to confront daily developmental challenges and continues to improve,” the coach added.
Januskova is looking to use that competitive fire to improve not only this year, but beyond.
“My career goals in tennis are to be ranked in the top 10 this year and to eventually pursue a professional career after graduation, where I can represent Penn State on the world stage,” Januskova said.
Being able to represent Penn State proudly is something that is very important to the All Big Ten performer.
Januskova mentioned how important Penn State has been to her career, whether it is the top coaching or competition, and she is looking to return the favor to the program.
Helping build the Nittany Lions program is something that the junior would love to leave as a legacy when her time is through.
“When I first came here, we were just starting to rebuild, after I leave I will be proud to say I was part of the Penn State tennis development and enhancement.” Januskova said.
If she keeps playing the way she is now she’ll have a strong shot at completing any goal she sets out to achieve.
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