Highly touted recruit settles in

Tennis freshman inspires the Bulldogs with her energy and outstanding competitive edge

A Ferris freshman tennis player is ready to make a strong first impression on not only her teammates and coaches, but on the Ferris community as well.

Gabrielle Demchenko, a native of Buffalo Grove, Ill., has played tennis ever since she can remember and never thought she would be granted the chance to play in college.

“I had friends that were older than me by a year or two. When they got back from college, I would hit with them and see the big difference between high school and college tennis,” Demchenko said.

By working hard both academically and athletically in high school, Demchenko has fought her way to winning sectionals with teammate Danielle Vasiliev in 2011, becoming second in conference with Vasiliev in 2011, winning sectionals as a team in 2012 and being ranked 371st overall by tennisrecruiting.net.

“The qualities that Gabby has are hard to find in most players,” head coach Chad Berryhill said.  “She is coachable, has good intensity on court and knows how to compete.”

As soon as Demchenko met with Berryhill in October 2012, she knew what her next move was going to be after high school. In November 2012, she committed to playing at Ferris.

“I fell in love with the school the day I saw it,” Demchenko said. “I also fell in love with the team when I met them.”

Demchenko has been impressed by Ferris’ tennis program, and Ferris senior tennis player Ana Jan has been greatly motivated by Demchenko’s drive to be the best.

“Her energy and good competitive edge motivates me to practice with more intensity,” Jan said. “I believe she will make a positive impact on the team.”

Demchenko realizes the transition into college tennis is going to be a big jump; however, she is willing to work harder this season than ever before to help her team succeed.

“My plans for the season are to play my best and to make a statement on the team,” Demchenko said. “I also want to help my team achieve our goal, which is winning our conference and putting our team back on top.”

The Bulldogs will start their first match against Lake Erie in Painesville, Ohio, Friday, Sept. 6 at 3 p.m.