Despite obstacles, Masha Tritou battled back to contribute for No. 28 Syracuse

first_imgMasha Tritou had an opportunity, and she wasn’t about to blow it.In a season plagued with injuries, illness and fluctuating playing time in singles, Tritou had the chance to prove her place in Syracuse’s starting lineup against then-No. 3 Georgia Tech on April 1.Tritou, who had only competed in three singles matches between Feb. 9 and March 30, dominated GT’s Nami Otsuka by commanding the net with her six-foot frame. At fourth singles, the junior won 6-2, 6-4, to put SU one point away from an eventual program-defining win. After impacting a win of such magnitude, Tritou felt she was back, she said.“I appreciate the fact that (SU head coach Younes Limam) believed in me in such an important match,” Tritou said, “It’s a different feeling to win when you haven’t had matches in your face and you do it like that.”After an unspecified illness and an assortment of injuries, Tritou was bumped out of SU’s starting singles lineup after a two-set loss against Virginia on Feb. 3. Despite spotty singles time, the junior has seized opportunities in doubles to regain her original position as a full-time player for No. 28 Syracuse (14-5, 6-5 Atlantic Coast).AdvertisementThis is placeholder textTritou began the season in the Orange’s starting singles lineup for its first four matches, all in the third and fourth slot. Despite a 3-1 record to start, Tritou battled with nagging injuries, she said. Against Columbia on Jan. 28, the junior lunged for a ball and immediately felt discomfort in her right arm, Tritou said. With help from “magic cream,” Tritou won the match, but the pain didn’t go away.“I wasn’t 100 percent,” Tritou said.After a two-set loss in Virginia, Tritou did not attend the next three home matches because of an illness she was dealing with, she said. When she returned to the team against Brown, Tritou only had a spot available at doubles.Tritou paired with Dina Hegab at third doubles, but the duo was inconsistent at the start of their tenure together. Before the start of their consistent pairing together against Brown on Feb. 24, Hegab and Tritou had only played once prior on the season.“It was different,” Hegab said, “It just took time for us to work.”While the pair’s chemistry improved, Tritou still dealt with multiple injuries throughout February and the beginning of March. During that time, Tritou’s days consisted of a regular practice routine with “many hours of work” in the training room with assistant athletic trainer Bradley Sammut.As she made progress, Tritou told the coaching staff that she started to feel 100 percent. A week later, she returned to the starting lineup against Pittsburgh on March 30. While Limam said it was mostly a decision based on matchups, Tritou said the change gave her confidence.Though Limam expected Tritou to be “a little bit rusty” in her singles return, Tritou said she felt good during the first set despite losing 5-7. Tritou knew she had to make adjustments to her game after being swept 6-0 in the second set. Two days later, Tritou recovered from a two-set loss with the win against Georgia Tech, her first since March 13. After the victory, Limam was open to keeping her in the lineup as both a singles and doubles player, he said.Since SU’s match with Pitt, Tritou has played singles in three of the last four matches, posting a 1-2 record. With three matches left before the ACC tournament, Tritou will look to find comfort in the fourth slot for the Orange.“It’s a different feeling when you’re contributing to the team (in singles),” Tritou said, “I love playing, and doing everything I can do to help us win.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on April 11, 2018 at 12:52 am Contact KJ: [email protected] | @KJEdelmanlast_img

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