Let’s talk a little Women’s Tennis. We
have been inside this winter long enough it’s time to get outside and enjoy the
fruits of the school’s labor as far as facilities goes and we’ve Head Coach Michaela Gorman who is about
to welcome another Niner into the family in a few months
I know you and Jeremy are excited about that. Yeah we’re excited. We’ve got little Sawyer running around at
matches that’s been fun the last couple of years and then we’ve got two seniors that have
watched that young man grow up Anna Ekelund on the end Alexandra Zinn Alex here in the center
both seniors and both pretty much have played their
entire careers here so by the end of these careers they will be in the top
tens and in at least one of the either singles or doubles because of just the
amount of experience but let’s talk about this year’s club as
it’s constructed a lot of experience coming back I think
expectations might be as high as they have been since you’ve been here you guys have been waiting singles and doubles wise along the way
but maybe it’s time the team was able to put together that monster
season and I think everyone thinks that can happen with this group. Yeah it’s great, you know, we have five
seniors. We have a class of of you know of
individuals that have been able to be very successful both on the
court and off the court like you said in singles and doubles and you know
anytime you can get that much experience when you have ten people on the team and
five of them are seniors it really helps the people that are kind of coming in you know the younger class that’s coming in
kind of they can watch them and say oh, that’s how it’s done and kind of they have somebody to look
up to which is nice. I thought last year’s team since I’ve been here for seven years may
have been the best team you’ve had because you brought in a little bit of
experience you had Natsuko a young player playing in the line-up
which is good when a young player can crack through but you also had a lot of
juniors that were racking up wins. What kind of as you look at this season
how it lays out with the schedule you have and the experience you have coming
back, what do you think the ceiling might be
for this team can you break through another level and I know getting a top seed last year in the
tournament was a big step but do you think you guys have it in you to
to take it all the way? I mean we had a really good season last season, you
know, I’m kind of one of those people who tries not to look back I try to just look forward and kind of
see what we can do with the with the group that we have now and I think
it’ll be fun. I try not to set expectations too too high
but you know I’m excited for to see what they can do you know
I think they’re capable of doing you know large amounts you know they can do
whatever they want to do you know they’re so experienced and
so smart out there on the court and I think you know we could have a the potential of having a fantastic
year is definitely there but I don’t want to put the pressure on them this is the
year you know. Right. But you know like you said I mean we
graduated one person last year and so you know you’ve got
five seniors and you know a couple of new faces some people
that have some experience as a sophomores so. Well let’s talk ladies a little bit
about kind of how this thing has grown since you got here when you first got on
campus both from Sweden so coming kind of sight unseen as it were but we got here the way the facilities and
and the courts were your sophomore year getting the
surfaces down last year resurfacing the building pops up now your senior year
you have a locker room we have a great facility there’s a place for the fans to
watch Alex when you kind of think back to the
first time you got here kind of talk me through how this place
has grown up kind of around you. Well it’s just like you say, it’s really
been growing step-by-step and at first when we came here were of course
nice courts although we didn’t really have a facility we didn’t have locker rooms and all that comes with that so and then we got new courts sophomore year
and junior year to start building our facility and then now I mean
everything is done and it’s been great it’s it’s helped a lot to have the locker
room access access to the locker rooms and I think we as a team have become
closer actually because of like you know we can go hang out in the team room and we
can we have a really nice training room where
we can do rehab and everything so I think it really has helped. Ana, when you think
about the time that you got here and the players that were older you know the ones that you looked up to
but now When you come on campus in the Fall you’re the older players you’re the ones
that you know that lead the way and and the
young players look up to you and kind of get direction from you they’re not going to have to go through the
growing pains that you did but doest it kind of make you appreciate it
more all the things that you guys had
when you when you stepped on campus this Fall and kind of the ways that it can make you better as a
team. Yeah, yeah I mean first of all it feels weird
to be a senior it’s gone like so fast and yeah it makes me like the courts we’ve been playing on
like the courts by the high rises yeah I really appreciate them. It’s a good cool place for them to hang out too
I’ve been down there and I’ve seen that lounge area and the locker room is nice and big and you can
string your racquets right there I mean everything is right there because before you know you had an equipment shed and you were carting
equipment around then you had to be off courts for a while so like Ana said you were playing up on the the
south end of campus you had to bring everything out there now you have this big equipment room
I know Jesse Tarr your assistant he’s like a proud papa down there showing
people around look at this room he unlocks it, I’m like it’s an equipment room he’s like Ah
it’s so great though it’s kind of fun to watch kind of especially
the older players who kind of watched it happen around them get to play on that
court and I think it’s a testament to your program because you guys have earned that I mean
obviously we want to have nice facilities but the way this team has played this is
kind of the perfect senior class to get to be the first one to enjoy the
building. Yeah I mean we love it I mean it’s it’s you know like you said haveing just a space
where they can come even in between class before practice and they don’t have to you know take their racquets to class or you
know tote everything around all day long or you know go sweaty to class I mean it’s a
nice thing that kind of spoils them a little bit for all of their efforts
all of their hard work so. And I’m sure now with the facility you want to have as many
home matches as you can you want to play in front of fans there’s a place now for
people to sit I know we’ve been kinda of patrolling that middle part or
walking around the outside of it as fans to the watch the ladies play now
we’ve got chair back seats, we’ve got a venue, it’s like a full
stadium now it’s really nice I’m hoping that and taking a look at your schedule
you’ve got a nice stretch in there where you’ve got a bunch of home games in a row and
hopefully that’s when the weather kind of gives us our sixties and seventies but a nice place to watch a match from
a fan standpoint what could they expect coming out there and
having a good place to sit? I mean you know it’s nice the seats are
right in the sun which is nice for the spectators who can watch in the
winter or as it starts to get a little bit warmer it’s still a nice place
to sit and it’s nice because you can see
all twelve courts so it’s nice that fans can come out and they can watch
you know both teams playing kinda see kind of you know a lot of people don’t know
what a college tennis match is kind of how it’s set up that and what it’s all about
I mean I think it will be a good atmosphere. You two have known each other
for a long time because we brought you in from Sweden you played
on the same club team I think Alex was telling me before we started taping that you
guys have known each other since you were about eleven or twelve and played against each
other right before that. At this point you know you’re kind
of friends for life at this point is kind of neat to be playing at the same college in the
U.S. having come from Sweden and and kind of grown up near each other? Yeah I mean it’s been it’s been good. I mean it has helped a lot actually yeah we’re so far away from home we still have someone here that is
kind of like home so. Yeah it’s been nice Do you kind of when you need a little
taste of home just break break out in to native tongue a
little bit? We just go to IKEA yeah. Last year with their senior years
here do you have any kind of expectations for your self or how do you want this
this last last to go? I mean it’s like you say it’s the last one so of
course we want to make it the best one. I mean last year we had great success and
I guess we’re trying to build on that and hopefully this will be even better
and I mean all we can do is that we’ve been working really hard and this is our final tennis I guess you can
say. Yeah and also I think we’re just going to
try to enjoy it as well because it’s our last semester so. You’ve got a great place
to enjoy it. Exactly. Well I know you guys have got to get going
those matches are here. We’ve had some crazy weather but we hope that it can settles
in when we start playing at home so that the fans can come out and watch you guys.
Coach Gorman thanks for the visit ladies best of luck hopefully good health and good success this
year and best of luck in your future endeavors I hope we can keep you around here but I know the world is a big place and you guys are going to venture out when you’re done here
but it’s been fun watching for three years and hopefully we’ll have one last good run. Thank you for the time today and go online to www.charlotte49ers.com
check out the schedule there are plenty of opportunities for you to come check out Women’s tennis at Halton-Wagner Tennis
Complex we hope to see you down there wear green when you come and go Niners!

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Dennis Veasley

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