A new partner. A new role. A new outlook.
This is Nina Alimpic's final season playing tennis at Bayshore, with the senior slated to graduate at the conclusion of the spring.
Typically, not the time to change things up. But Alimpic has decided to do that in an attempt to minimize the stress and make the most of her final season in Bruins colors.
"Last year, all I could do was think about state," Alimpic said. "Now, I take one match at a time, or I feel like I'm thinking too far ahead. Before every match, I tell the girls, 'Let's go out there and do our best, and leave everything on the court.' "
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Of course, Bayshore isn't banking on Alimpic altering too much of her on-court thought process. As a junior last year, Alimpic was a district champion at No. 1 singles and doubles and steered the Bruins to their first team district title.
Paired with Laime Cont-reras, Alimpic won the state individual doubles tournament for the second consecutive year and wound up earning All-Area Player of the Year honors.
Things are a bit different now. Contreras graduated and took her game to Barry University in Miami Shores, arming Alimpic with a new partner in junior Madeline Johnson.
"We've done all right," said Alimpic, who got to know Johnson while the two worked at IMG together.
"Laime and I played two years together. . . . We'll see when it comes together."
Now a senior, Alimpic is also trying to lead the Bruins to a repeat of last season's success. Hence the new approach - she doesn't want to stress out too much, especially after Bayshore dropped an early-season match to Saint Stephen's.
As for her own future, Alimpic said she has fielded some Division I offers, though she declined to name the schools. And though she isn't a fan of cold weather, she is thinking about attending college up north, with schools such as Queens College and Stony Brook University piquing her interest.
Alimpic could stay in Florida, perhaps sliding into a No. 4 or No. 6 spot at an upper-echelon school. But Alimpic said she'd rather head to a school where she can put the emphasis on her studies instead of tennis.
Quite mature, indeed.
"I want to concentrate on my school," she said.