Athlete of the Week: Giselle Vlassis

Athlete of the Week

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) – It’s been pretty hard for opponents in section three to stop Giselle Vlassis. The determined CBA freshman doesn’t let much distract her on the court.

“Well, I usually think that I go out there and focus the whole time and try for every point and like if I mess up I just forget about it and try to win the next point,” says Vlassis.

That’s been a successful strategy. Giselle didn’t drop a set all season until she reached the state tournament going 20-1 this year. Since 7th grade Vlassis is 62 and 4 on the court with three straight trips to state. Three of her four losses haave come at the state tournament.

“It like pushes me to get better so that hopefully I can win a few matches there at states,” says Vlassis.

“The one thing about her, she is amazingly coachable. You tell her to do something, she does it. She does it happily. She works harder than anybody else on the team so she leads by example which is amazing to have, says Rick Glowacki, CBA girls tennis coach. “She really has an encyclopedia of shot selection. She kinda knows what to do depending on the situation of like the high percentage shot and that’s very rare in someone her age.”

Giselle is used to hard work. When she was nine, she would wake up early to play tennis before school and then play after school as well. She has always had a great support system from her family as well. Her Dad James played tennis and her brothers Dean and Ben had a state run of their own with CBA last year as a doubles pair.

From the Left: Isabella, junior at Clemson University;  Winston (dog),  Ben, junior at CBA;  Giselle, Freshman at CBA; Dean, Freshman playing D1 tennis at Colgate University,  Racquel and Jim Vlassis

“My dad always gives me advice before I play and my brothers always help me when we’re practicing. Even though they make fun of me they encourage me to get better so they don’t want them to make fun of me,” laughed Giselle.

Vlassis hopes in the years to come she can win a state title and play college tennis just like her brother Dean does at Colgate.

PARIS, FRANCE – OCTOBER 30: Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates victory after playing in his match against Adrian Mannarino of France on day 3 of the Rolex Paris Masters, part of the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 held at the at AccorHotels Arena on October 30, 2019 in Paris, France. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

But in the back of her mind, she thinks of the possibility of following the path of her idle Rafeal Nadal or young 15-year old sensation Coco Gauff.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – AUGUST 29: Cori Gauff of the United States returns a shot during her Women’s Singles second round match against Timea Babos of Hungary on day four of the 2019 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 29, 2019 in Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

“Its crazy how young she is. I always watch her in the big tournaments. I actually got to watch her person at the us open so that was really cool,” said Vlassis. “It kinda gives me like inspiration that maybe if I work hard I could do that its kinda far off but yeah its really inspirational.”

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The Byrne Dairy and Deli NewsChannel 9 Athlete of the Week is designed to honor Section III varsity members who embody the true meaning of student-athlete.

The award recognizes more than just athletic ability, it recognizes a student-athlete who thrives in the classroom, on the athletic field and in the community.

Athletes can be nominated by a coach, athletic director or teacher. Please send your nominations to Sports@LocalSYR.com.