Every year, The Sentinel asks hundreds of students from both campuses about their favorite places to eat, drink and hang out. The Sentinel’s “Best of KSU” issue encompasses students’ favorite aspects of KSU and the surrounding community. In 2017, Alexandra Mercado was voted Best Female Athlete by the Kennesaw campus students.
One of the most impressive student-athletes this year at KSU has been women’s tennis player Alexandra Mercado. The junior has been the most consistent player on the team, racking up nine singles victories on the season and 20 for her career.
Born in Caguas, Puerto Rico, Mercado graduated from Caguas Military Academy as an honor-roll student and earned a number of other accolades. At the Puerto Rico National Tennis Tournament, she reached the semifinals in singles and the finals in doubles, as well as winning the Sportsmanship Award.
During her freshman year, she was selected to the ASUN Conference All-Freshman team and has been on the rise ever since. As the tennis team heads into the conference tournament, Mercado’s influence will be a key factor in its success.
This season has been Mercado’s most successful, and even in her defeats she has consistently fought for each point, game, and set. There is never a shortage of drama in her matches, many of which resulted in two tight sets if not three.
If trends are a reflection of reality, then Alexandra Mercado will continue to improve her game and become even more successful than she has been so far in her career.
She advanced from four singles victories her freshman year to seven her sophomore year and now nine this past season. As Mercado has gotten better over time, so has the entire team. It seems that her role not only as a talented player but also as a leader has had a positive influence on those around her. As she enters her final year as an Owl next season, Mercado will be as crucial as ever for the team.
“My coaches and teammates have helped develop me into the person I am today,” Mercado said. “Thanks to them, and thanks for the support I have from my family back home.”
One of her most memorable performances of the year came against Alabama State University when she came from behind twice to win her match in three sets. After dropping the first set 3-6, she won the second with a score of 6-2. She fell behind again 0-3 in the third set before turning it around and winning six consecutive games to win the set and match.
That is the type of performance that has defined Mercado’s season, and that is the performance that has earned her the title of Best Female Athlete.