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Fountain of youth: Alana Wolfberg leads young Cowgirl squad

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Oklahoma State Cowgirls vs Missouri Tigers Tennis Match, Saturday, January 16, 2021, Greenwood Tennis Center, Stillwater, OK. Bruce Waterfield/OSU Athletics

Image Taken at the Oklahoma State Cowgirls vs Missouri Tigers Tennis Match, Saturday, January 16, 2021, Greenwood Tennis Center, Stillwater, OK. Bruce Waterfield/OSU Athletics

Alana Wolfberg is used to leading.

In high school, she was a three-sport athlete and a four-time Florida state tennis champion — a feat that topped tennis great Chris Evert.

“Alana has been a strong leader since the day she arrived on campus,” coach Chris Young said.

Last season, Wolfberg played No. 4 singles but has now charged her way to the No. 1 singles spot as a sophomore — a role which encompasses strong responsibility and honor.

Wolfberg established herself as the Cowgirls’ top single player after a strong freshman and fall 2020 campaign with a win in the Big 12 Fall Series Championships.

OSU escaped the fall semester with zero coronavirus issues, but after two season-opening wins over Mizzou, contact tracing caught up.

“I didn’t think we would be the ones causing a shutdown,” Wolfberg said. “It was a humbling experience. I’m glad we’re past it.”

Young and co. experienced a rough ITA Indoor Nationals two weeks ago, in which, due to several players recovering from contact tracing, they didn’t field a full seven-player roster until the final match.

In their match vs. UCLA, only four Cowgirls were available.

“I was frustrated, I was angry and I was sad,” Wolfberg said. “I was everything but excited for my team. We did a great job in the locker room seeing the positives.”

With the Cowgirls back to full strength, Wolfberg has learned from a “humbling experience” and is focused on the future.

Now, despite her age, Wolfberg must lead the Cowgirls.

“Our youth is going to be a challenge for us,” Young said. “No one on our team has played more than two years of college tennis.”

sports.ed@ocolly.com