Potenza returns to coach women’s tennis

Skylar Blankenship
Sports Editor

Denise Potenza, women's tennis head coach and former United States Tennis Association player, strives to bring the team back to Nationals.WWW.HVCC.EDU

Denise Potenza, women’s tennis head coach and former United States Tennis Association player, strives to bring the team back to Nationals.

Denise Potenza is back as head coach for the Vikings’ women’s tennis team after a one-year hiatus.

Coach Potenza first joined the Viking family for the 2011 season. Since then, she has guided the women’s tennis teams to back-to-back 7-0 regular seasons and Mountain Valley Conference Championships. She also earned the Paul F. Bishop Coach of the Year Award on two occasions.
Before Hudson Valley, she was the number one and number two singles and doubles player at Marist College and SUNY Cortland.

Potenza has been a player of the United States Tennis Association for over 20 years. She was inducted into the Watervliet Hall of Fame in 2012.

Q: How is it being back after a one-year hiatus?

A: It’s great to be back coaching the Women’s Tennis Team again at HVCC. I missed the interaction with the student-athletes.

Q: How would you describe the season you and your teams had as it comes to a close?

A: We currently have one regular season match left on Sunday, Oct. 1st at Mohawk Valley, and then we move on to Regionals in Syracuse the following weekend. Our first matches were against some strong teams and we held our own against them. Our team has gotten stronger as the season has gone on so I’m looking forward to being competitive at Regionals.

Q: What do you expect of your players?

A: I expect that my players will have some fun while playing competitive college tennis. Also, that players will work to balance tennis with academics as their priority.
Q: What are your goals for next year?

A: My goal every year is to make it to Nationals. It’s an awesome experience for players to experience tennis at the National level.

Q: Why did you decide to become a coach?

A: In a previous job I had, I was frequently able to teach tennis to younger children and always looked forward to that. I happened to see that the Head Women’s Tennis Coach was vacant a few years back and was fortunate enough to get the job. I discovered that I love working with the college student population.

Q: Why tennis?

A: My first memory of playing tennis is with my family when I was in 6th grade. I started to play with a group of friends in middle and high school, and also on teams. I’ve been able to meet and become friends with so many people that enjoy the same activity as I do. I encourage every player that I coach to keep playing, whether it be recreational or competitive, after college.

Q: The athletic department has recently added a men’s golf team; has there been thought of a men’s tennis team? Why or why not?

A: I’ve been asked several times about the possibility of having a men’s tennis team. If there are interested players, I would encourage them to contact the Athletic Department at HVCC to discuss that possibility.

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