Girls From 'Down Under' Rank On Top
By Gretchen Hunt
Originally Published In the Herald
February 10, 1998
Sandra Meichsner and Kylie Kemsley might call Australia home, but
Arkansas State University is proud to claim them.
Together they are the number 28 tennis doubles team in the nation.
The two are ranked among teams from universities such as Georgia, Notre
Dame, Duke and UCLA.
Meichsner, a senior of Melbourne, Australia, said receiving national
rankings was one of her greatest moments at ASU. She was ranked as a
singles player two years ago.
"Getting this doubles one has been great," she said. "That's always been
one of my goals."
Kemsley, a senior of Brisbane, Australia, said she shares her teammate's
"It feels really good, like we've accomplished something," she said.
"With all the work put in, it's like we're finally getting some
Coach Marcia Williams said Kemsley and Meichsner make a very good
doubles team because they are both good singles players.
"They both are aggressive," she said. "They both like to play at the
Meichsner agreed she and Kemsley make good partners because they share a
style of play.
"We're both really strong players, and we're both really aggressive
players," she said. "So, we do really good together."
Kemsley said the team's strongest attribute is probably their ability to
communicate with each other and their love of the game.
"Neither one of us put pressure on the other, so it's not a big chore to
us," she said. "We sort of enjoy it."
Both said individual strengths help the team as well.
"Serve and volley is my main game plan," Meichsner said.
Williams agreed Meichsner has a very strong serve.
"Kendra is 6 feet, and she has a big serve," she said. "She's left
handed, and that's different."
Kemsley contributes her own strengths to form the winning combination.
"My forehand is probably my biggest weapon," she said.
Meichsner has been named all-conference in singles and doubles play the
past three years, and she said she hopes the team will receive
conference honors as well.
"If we keep up our performance and get some really good wins under our
belt, we'll hopefully get all-conference," she said.
Meichsner, an exercise science major, came to ASU as a freshman, and
Williams said Meichsner's playing style has developed and improved
through the years.
"You learn to stay aggressive," Williams said. "The level in division I
is just below professional."
The two must stay aggressive both on the court and in training.
Williams said the team practices two hours each day through the week.
They run and lift weights after practice and condition on their own, she
Williams said the two always concentrate on the game at hand.
"Every time they have a match it's a challenge," she said. "Especially
this season, we have a great schedule."
Kemsley said she takes each match as it comes, but one last season
stands out in her memory.
"It was the first time I beat a nationally-ranked player," she said.
"She was from Houston, and she was ranked high."
Kemsley, who is also an exercise science major, will play in her last
season with ASU next year.
She said her main goal as a senior is to try to set an example for the
rest of the team.
Starting with their game Saturday, the team will play about two matches
Meichsner said because of this season's difficult schedule, she has a
broad goal to "keep playing well and try as a team to win as many
matches as possible."
Meichsner said she also has a more specific goal in mind.
"If Kylie and I can keep up our wins, hopefully we'll be able to go to
nationals," she said.