Student-Athlete Spotlight: Liza Kiseleva

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Alyssa Sherry, News and Features Editor

“Tennis has influenced my life a lot,” says junior Liza Kiseleva, captain of the Wayne Valley Girls Tennis team and 2019 Passaic County Champion. “Besides school, tennis is my second priority, and most of my years growing up have been spent on the tennis court. [The sport] taught me to be more determined and work hard for what I want.” 

Kiseleva started playing tennis six years ago, and she has held the first singles spot on the tennis team since her freshman year. Not only did Kiseleva defeat the defending Passaic County Champion, Wayne Hills senior captain Angela Reyzelman, in the championship match last season, but she received First Team All-County honors after her freshman and sophomore seasons. Although county tournaments were cancelled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Kiseleva’s junior-season performance has been nothing short of excellent, and she is on track for honors once again. Her personal record for her junior season is a stellar 10-1. 

Under Kiseleva and her co-captain, junior Madeline Martin, the Wayne Valley Girls Tennis team has grown to be a formidable opponent in North Jersey. They ended the 2020-2021 season with a record of 9-2, a significant improvement from past seasons. Their coach, Calvin Eng, also has greatly influenced the team over his past three years coaching at Wayne Valley. Kiseleva notes that Coach Cal has guided her to become a better player, especially helping to improve her shots. 

As a teammate and a captain, tennis has had an enormous impact on Kiseleva’s life. “Being a captain has taught me to be more responsible,” Kiseleva reflects, “and to make sure that everyone is having a good time.” From lifelong friendships to iconic team traditions, she is incredibly grateful for the memories she’s made. In particular, her favorite tradition is “Chinese Food Tuesday,” when the team orders a ton of Chinese food to commemorate the end of another successful season. Kiseleva also looks fondly upon a specific game in her sophomore season, when the team ordered pizza to the Lakeland Regional High School courts and blasted music on the ride home. Although Kiseleva joined the Wayne Valley Girls Tennis team because of her passion for the sport, sharing moments like these with her teammates has made the tennis season unforgettable for her. 

Ultimately, Kiseleva reflects, “My advice to student athletes is to work hard and persevere no matter how hard things get.” Kiseleva is such a successful player because of her dedication and willingness to push her limits. She also works hard for her success in the offseason, taking lessons and playing matches throughout the entirety of the year.

Kiseleva is also an active member of Wayne Valley’s Peer Leaders organization and Garden Club. We look forward to seeing the great things she will accomplish next.