April 18, 2013

Dominating the court and campus at CUA

Caitlin Porter is the epitome of the well-rounded student-athlete on which CUA prides its athletics program. She is dominating this 2012-13 tennis season with a 14-0 record thus far, as well as being 5-0 in the Landmark Conference. A junior from Audubon, N.J., Porter sets the perfect example of an extremely dedicated teammate, as well as an incredibly active student on the CUA campus.

Porter partakes in many student activities on campus, while still having time to perfect her skills on the court. She is a member of Phi Eta Sigma and Pi Delta Phi, Catholic's freshman and French honor societies. Porter is an active member of campus ministry, and looks forward to being a resident minister next year. She partook in both Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week and Students on the Mount. Porter is also a member of the hospitality crew at St. Vincent's.

As if these clubs were not enough, Porter is traveling to Belize this upcoming summer for a mission trip. "In high school, I learned time management skills. You learn to not compromise [your time]. I always get my stuff done and it's always quality work," Porter says.

Porter began her CUA academics as an exploratory major, but has since switched and is working towards a French degree. In addition, she is learning to speak Chinese as a requirement for her language major. "It's just something totally out of the box," she says. "I was looking for a challenge."

Again, one would find it hard to believe that such an involved student would have time to be attending tennis practices, matches, and spending quality time with her teammates. CUA tennis coach, Dana Dowd, remembers the confident and mature Porter who expressed her interest in the tennis program three years ago. "Caitlin was very clear in what she wanted. She wasn't afraid to say what she was good at, and that she wanted to be a part of the team."

Named all-conference champion and all-region champion as a junior in high school, as well as ending her high school senior season 17-5, it was apparent Porter would prove to be a valuable asset to CUA tennis.

Three years later, Porter has certainly made her mark. Finishing 9-6 in singles her first two years at Catholic, she also achieved a winning record in doubles her sophomore year.  Currently undefeated this season, Porter hopes to keep the streak going while also doing what is best for the team. "Caitlin is very determined and very competitive. She never gives up and is always working her very hardest through the entire match," says teammate Isabel Tanco.

Porter's outstanding doubles competition also stands out this 2013 season. Porter and her partner, Ritamarie Holden, are currently 10-2, going 4-1 in conference play. Both women provide outstanding athleticism, but it is their personalities that accompany the powerful wins from the duo.  "Rita is super steady and great at the base line," Coach Dowd explains, "and Caitlin is really an all-court player. She is comfortable almost everywhere on the court."

Both Porter and Holden agree that communication plays a massive role in the success of doubles teams, and that sometimes opposites attract with partners. "I vocalize my intensity a little more than she does," admits Porter, "we constantly talk to each other between points and games." Holden explains that the two calm each other down and comfort one another. "If she gets too heated, I calm her down," she jokes, "but she is a great partner."

Overall, the close-knit tennis team is looking to leave its mark on CUA athletics in the near future. Porter's goal is to remain undefeated for the rest of the season, and show that anything is possible for a player willing to put in the time and effort. "Anyone on our team can beat anyone, any day. We are so close in talent," she says. "Hopefully, my undefeated record helps us get a win in the semifinals of the conference tournament, to the Landmark finals, and beyond."

Story written by Colleen Loftus, CUA Office of Athletic Communications

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