In the Spotlight: ITA Division II Senior Players of the Year

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ITA: In the Spotlight highlights Helena Van Eysendeyk from California University of Pennsylvania and Julien Carsuzaa of Lynn University who have been awarded the 2009 ITA National Division II Senior Players of the Year. These players were voted by a Regional Awards committee for their great work on the court and for their team. These two outstanding players have taken time from their busy schedule to sit in on this week's ITA: In the Spotlight.




Helena Van Eysendeyk 
is a senior at California University of Pennsylvania and is from Meythet, France. She is currently ranked No. 2 in women's singles in the Campbell/ITA Division II National College Rankings and No. 16 in women's doubles with partner, Alina Stanila.  She carries a 26-2 singles record and has the most wins in Cal U/PA history.  She has achieved ITA All-American status in 2008 in singles and doubles and won the ITA Regional Championship in singles and doubles in 2008 & 2009.  The ITA is proud to announce that Van Eysendeyk is the winner the 2009 ITA National Women's Division II Senior Player of the Year award.

Name a tennis player you admired while growing up and why?
My biggest fan when I was growing up was Steffi Graf, simply because of her extraordinary talent in tennis, but I also loved the simple personality she had on the court. Always a fighter and at the same time always in control of her emotions. She was never chauvinistic, never played tennis to show off. She demonstrated a passion for the sport and made me want to be a tennis player just like her.

If you could play any other sport what would it be?
If I could choose another sport, I would play soccer. I have played soccer since I am a little girl because I grew up with an older brother. The reason why I stopped was because passed 12 I couldn't play in a boys team anymore, and I didn't want to play with girls. But still until today I have a real passion for the sport and I sometimes even find myself regretting having stopped.

Do you have an pre-match rituals or superstitions?
Before a match, I like to put on my iPod and listen to relaxing music while I am waiting to get on court. Once on court, when I start my warm up I listen to boosting music, house or dance, usually while I run laps. Other than that I have some superstitions on the court like switching balls if there is a let on first serve or never playing with a ball given by my opponent.

What do you see yourself doing in the next ten years?
I am not sure where my future is heading, but I do know that I will definitely try to stay in the area of sport, probably tennis. In the near future, I am trying to get a job in coaching, but I would really like to find opportunities working in major tournaments and use my business degree to work in the field of marketing for those tournaments.

What is the best thing about playing for your University's team (Cal U-PA)?
There are many great things about playing for Cal U. First of all, there is my coach, Pablo Montana, who has an incredible passion for tennis and that passion always motivated me to work hard. Then there is my teammates with who I shared incredible experiences and moments that I will keep in mind for the rest of my life. Finally playing for Cal U was an amazing experience because it was an entire team that was working towards the same goal and support from one another was what made our strength. For the first time again since I was a child I had a real passion for tennis and success. This experience thought me important values and lessons that I can now apply to all areas of life.




Julien Carsuzaa is a senior at Lynn University and his hometown is Nice, France. He is currently ranked No. 4 in the Campbell/ITA Division II men's singles rankings and No. 7 in the men's doubles with partner, Miloslav Navatril. Carsuzaa's season record is 13-3 and he plays the top-ranked position for the Fighting Knights.  He is a 3-time ITA All-American in singles and won the 2006 ITA "Super Bowl" of the ITA Small College Doubles Championship.   The ITA is proud to announce that Carsuzaa is the winner the 2009 ITA National Men's Division II Senior Player of the Year award.


Name a tennis player you admired while growing up and why?
I have always admired Gaston Gaudio the most, because of the way he acts on the court.  He shows a lot of emotion and also because he is one of the more talented players in tennis.  He feels the ball extremely well. 

If you could play any other sport what would it be?
I would continue to play an individual sport like tennis.  I like to duel one on one so I would try to play something like boxing for example which I think is very similar to tennis.  You have to be light on your feet and react quickly.    

Do you have an pre-match rituals or superstitions?
Before each match, I always take some personal time alone to prepare for the match.  I find it helps me prepare my thoughts and keep me focused.

What do you see yourself doing in the next ten years?
I would really like to continue to play tennis especially doubles.  I hope to turn to the pro-circuit and make a living out of playing tennis.

What is the best thing about playing for your University's team (Lynn)?
I love to play with a team because it gives me great motivation.  I have met some great teammates and I love my coach.  Being a part of this team makes me want to fight hard on the court than if I would be playing by myself.

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