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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Windbuchler playing with newfound confidence in fifth year

Tiana Windbuchler (right) and Emma Davis (left) have played together as doubles partners this season. (Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics.)

Tiana Windbuchler’s spot is finally set. 

The fifth-year New Zealand native has been a Golden Eagle for all five years of her career, but this is the first season that she has a set spot in the lineup.

Windbuchler said getting used to her new position required a mindset shift, especially since this is her last year at Marquette.

“It’s weird not going into a match day being like ‘I’m probably not playing’ and then that constantly being proven wrong,” Windbuchler said.

She described the uncertainty she faced as unsettling and said that staying confident has been a key role in her success this season.

“I have to have confidence in this position because otherwise I will just crumble,” Windbuchler said.

Windbuchler has seen the most success in her doubles matches this season, most recently going on a three-match win streak with partner sophomore Emma Davis.

And where she finds this confidence is in her unique playing style. 

“I just have to play the way I want to play,” Windbuchler said. “If I can pull what might not be the safest shots, like a dropshot, that freedom gives me confidence.” 

Head coach Jud Schaufler said he can see that freedom in her game.

“She’s always had an exceptionally good racquet palette,” Shaufler said. “She can be a very creative player and ad-lib out there better than any others.” 

Schaufler said that this new security has improved her confidence, as well as her overall game.  

“It had enhanced her confidence that she knows she’s going to be out there competing and as a result, she has a different type of swagger to herself,” Schaufler said. “Between picking up that level of confidence and using her natural talents, this has been a coming out year for her.”

Davis agreed.

“I have seen her confidence grow exponentially, and it is really showing in her doubles and singles results,” Davis said. “She is really growing into the person she wants to be both on and off the court and you can really see it in her shots.” 

While her newfound confidence has made her play that much better on the court, her positive energy off the court has been lifting the team up since day one. 

“She’s constantly laughing, throwing out jokes, just being the life of the party on and off the court,” Davis said. “Her positive reinforcement just brings in a different atmosphere of a college athletic team because it is so serious at times, and it is a lot of pressure, but Tiana brings in that laid-back personality that allows us to think this really is just about having fun and being together.” 

Davis came to Marquette last year as the only first-year on the team, and it was Windbuchler who reached out immediately and made her feel included. 

“She’s very open, very inviting, she was the most inclusive person on the team at that point,” Davis said.  

The bond between the two is not just friendship though. Davis said Windbuchler is someone that she looks up to and a role model.

“Tiana represents a leader in my life,” Davis said. “Even though she was a leader and had a ton of great insights and held a lot of respect on the team, she was always someone I considered a super close friend immediately on the team.” 

Schaufler said that Windbuchler’s offcourt attitude is a reflection of her confidence and makes her a leader for the entire team.  

“She’s extremely popular,” Schaufler said. “She is a free-flowing and talented person and as a reflection of her outside relationships, they look at her as a creative outgoing individual. Now that she’s in the lineup as much as she is, it translates to pretty good leadership on her part.” 

This article was written by Sophia Woods. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter/X @SophiaWoodsMU.

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Sophia Woods
Sophia Woods, Assistant Sports Editor
Sophia Woods is a first-year student from Plainfield, Illinois studying business management and journalism, serving as an Assistant Sports Editor of the Marquette Wire for the 2023-2024 year. She has experience in writing sports and feature articles. Outside of writing, Sophia enjoys snowmobiling, spending time with family and playing tennis.

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