The timing of the NCAA Tournament can either be a blessing or a curse for athletes. Where some falter under the immense pressure of success, others embrace it and thrive. Freshman Maria Tritou hopes her fate will be the latter.
In his piece for the Daily Orange, Jake Falk discusses how Tritou went from standout to a frustrated and flustered player over the course of the last few months of the season. She will attempt to erase all of her woes when the team (14-8, 7-7 ACC) faces Georgia State (15-5, 4-0 Sun Belt) on Friday.
Tritou attributes her recent slump to steeper competition and much higher humidity than the team would normally experience at Syracuse. She has struggled to score potential game-changing points because she has failed to stick to her bread and butter: a baseline-centered game. Sophomore Nicole Mitchell, her doubles partner, has been working with Tritou trying to help her get back to where she started this season.
Head coach Younes Limam believes she's trending in the right direction headed into tournament play:
"She has played with more intensity from start to finish, and... has (aimed for more consistency). She is using her serve better and more strategically, not hitting the serve in the same place every time."
Friday's matches will be the first step on Tritou's road to redemption. May the road be paved in orange.
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Syracuse vs. Georgia State will begin at 11 a.m. ET this Friday in Gainsville, Florida. The full bracket can be seen here.