Seaborne sits, but her tips resonate

BY ALEC CLASEN | MARCH 03, 2014 5:00 AM

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The Iowa women’s tennis team’s lone senior, Ruth Seaborne, saw the game through the eyes of a coach’s perspective March 1 when the Hawks took on Chicago State. Seaborne was on the sideline for the duration of the match, lending an encouraging word or helpful tip to her teammates.

“I enjoy coaching, and I enjoy helping out when I can,” Seaborne said. “So if I can be more use than just standing up in the stands cheering, why not be able to do both?”

It wasn’t necessarily easy for Seaborne to be on the sideline watching the matches. She is an athlete and competitor, and watching her teammates fight to win only helps to fuel that fire.

“It was kind of hard to just watch,” she said. “But I’ve done it already last semester, so I’ve seen it from this point of view before.”

Seaborne was sidelined because of a rule restricting a player from playing more than a certain number of matches or tournaments in a season. Seaborne played one more tournament in the fall than her teammates, which forced her to sit out one during the spring season.

“She played four tournaments in the fall, when everyone else played three,” head coach Katie Dougherty said. “So date-wise, she needed to sit, and today was her day to sit.”

Seaborne is ranked 88th in the nation and arguably the Hawkeyes’ best player. Having her on the sideline offering her perspective was beneficial for her teammates.

“She’s great, she always helps us,” junior Ellen Silver said. “She talks to us on the changeovers to keep us relaxed; she’s always a great supporter.”

Because Seaborne is the only senior on the team, her teammates look to her for guidance. She was paired up with Iowa’s only freshman, Aimee Tarun, for doubles on Feb. 25 when the team faced off against Missouri-Kansas City.

However, she isn’t the most vocal member of the team; she lets her play on the court do the talking.

“It was good, it was very helpful,” Tarun said. “Ruth really knows what she’s talking about; it’s really great having her.”

Seaborne took on the role with a competitive fire and passion. The senior tried to offer her best for the team even though she wasn’t playing. She said she enjoyed her time on the sideline and the opportunity to assist her team.

For Seaborne, the rest is well timed. She has won three-straight singles matches, and the rest serves as a good point for her to recharge her batteries. In the coming weeks, the Hawkeyes will have four-straight away matches, including the start to their Big Ten schedule.

“It’s good to be able watches the matches and see everything from how a coach would see it,” Seaborne said. “It’s good, too, if you see something being able to help your teammates out.”

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