North Allegheny grad Isaacs sets wins record at Duquesne
North Allegheny graduate Kylie Isaacs made history recently as a member of the Duquesne women's tennis team, but it was not easy.
Isaacs, a senior, became the Dukes all-time leader with 148 total victories in a tiebreaker in the Carnegie Mellon Invitational tournament.
Isaacs downed a player from Mercyhurst, 6-2, 0-6, 10-8, breaking a record held by Rachel McGowan since 2010.
“I was shaking for 15 minutes after the match because (it) was close and intense and because of all of the excitement after (it) was clinched,” said Isaacs, 21, of Franklin Park.
Isaacs entered the campaign with a 75-24 singles record, including 48-15 in the top spot. She was 70-21 overall in doubles and 48-11 in first doubles.
“I wasn't surprised she set the record because that is how high of a standard she holds herself to,” Dukes director of tennis Vanessa Steiner said. “She is a leader and inspiration for the rest of the team and future Dukes.”
Isaacs was happy her brother, Jared, a sophomore on the Dukes men's team, was on hand.
“I did not realize my coaches and teammates knew I was close to the record until after the third set,” Isaacs said, adding she received a lot of hugs and high fives from them.
Isaacs has come a long way with the Dukes.
“When I arrived as a freshman, my goal was simply to make the starting lineup and help the team win,” said Isaacs, a one-time WPIAL and PIAA Class AAA girls doubles champion who played one season for the North Allegheny boys squad. “Duquesne has been a great fit for me, and I have received so much support from my teammates, teachers, coaches and family.”
Isaacs, who is 5-foot-5, said there is more to accomplish.
She hopes to lead the Dukes to the Atlantic 10 Conference championship. In each of the past three seasons, they have been eliminated in the quarterfinals.
Steiner said it would be a dream come true if the Dukes come in first.
Isaacs has an even bigger goal after she graduates.
She and teammate Julianne Herman, a junior from Philadelphia, hope to qualify for the US Open in doubles.
Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.