UNI Women's Tennis All-Time Wins Leader Jessica Kunzelmann
Courtesy: UNI Athletics Communications  
Release: Tuesday 04/22/2012

Senior Jessica Kunzelmann knows a thing or two about winning a tennis match. Kunzelmann just recently broke the all-time career singles record at UNI. On March 31, she defeated Gabriela Demos of Drake to take the top spot on the list. She passed fellow Panther Carolinna Hannes, who was the former leader on that list with 86 wins. Kunzelmann admits that she didn’t know about the record at first. “I never really knew about the record until last spring cause Coach told me. Once he told me how many wins I needed then I wanted to get it. Fall was pretty much like every season, but spring I got nervous at my two or three matches because I knew I only had about seven wins left but after that it got better.”

Kunzelmann came to UNI from Bollschweil, Germany and adjusting to being away from home and in a different country was a little difficult at first. “It was pretty much just my first semester when I wanted to go home. I actually talked to my parents and told them that I wanted to come home at one point, but they convinced me to stay. It got better every time and probably the second or third time it wasn’t bad leaving anymore.” Being part of a team that is mostly international has also helped Kunzelmann adjust, “I really liked the team at UNI because it was all international and that helped me a lot because I was so homesick at first. Since everyone was from another country they all knew how you felt.”

Kunzelmann also had to adjust her tennis game a bit when coming to the U.S. “I was more of a passive tennis player when I came here, and I was not a very good doubles player. Since I have been here though, I have become way more aggressive on my tennis game and a better doubles player too.” Kunzelmann attributes her work ethic to her success at UNI. “I am very hard working I would say and ambitious in every thing I do, so I think that helped me with that. I also never give up even if I am about to lose.”

Head Coach Sachin Kirtane credits Kunzelmann as one of the keys to the success of the team. “Jessie is one of the biggest reasons we’ve had all the success we have had these last four years. She has transformed over the last four years and no matter who she plays she can go in there and not only compete but win.” Kirtane considers Kunzelmann one of the best and she’s deserved everything she has earned. “She is going to be one of the best players that has ever played at UNI. I couldn’t be prouder, and I don’t think the record could come to a better person. Everything she’s got so far in her life she’s earned it.”

Check out the video feature on Kunzelmann.

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