CNMI National Tennis Team member Isabel Heras will be playing for a new team and a highly competitive conference in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II in her second season in the collegiate ranks.
Heras, who represented the Commonwealth in last year’s Pacific Games in Apia, Samoa, is heading to Colorado to play for Metropolitan State University of Denver in the spring season.
“I will be playing tennis on scholarship for Metropolitan State University of Denver. I am grateful for the opportunity to play for this team as they are now in the PAC-West, a competitive conference,” said Heras, who is on island and will join her new squad next month.
The CNMI player started his collegiate career with Dixie State University in Utah and had an impressive freshman season. Heras took the Rookie of the Year honors in the 16-team Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference and helped the Trailblazers win the 2019 RMAC Championships, incidentally against the Commonwealth player’s new team.
While playing for Dixie State in the 2018-2020 season, the 21-year-old student-athlete posted a 9-6 record in the doubles (No. 1 doubles with teammate Yoleno Carlon) and defeated every team they faced in the conference. The Trailblazers were 11-4 during the 2018-19 season for a winning percentage of .733—the team’s highest regular-season win percentage in the history of the program.
In singles, Heras played No. 3 for the Trailblazers and tallied a 9-5 mark. Besides getting the Rookie of the Year award, she was also named to the First Team All-RMAC Doubles with Carlon.
The CNMI player hopes to pick up where she left, as she suits up for MSU Denver.
“My goals when playing for Metro would be to make an impact in their lineup, improve myself physically and mentally in this sport, and bring positive motivation toward my teammates (especially at 6am gym sessions). I’m so excited for this transfer and can’t wait to play in the spring season,” Heras said.
With the Roadrunners and in the PAC-West, Heras will square off against players from Hawaii Pacific University, Azusa Pacific University, Fresno Pacific, Point Lorna Nazarene, University of Hawaii-Hilo, Corcordia (Irvine), Academy of Arts, Dominican University of California, Biola University, Chaminade University, and Holy Names University.
MSU Denver is coached by Josh Graetz, who used to play for the Roadrunners and also a Rookie of the Year awardee (2013-2014) after setting a school record of 24 singles win.