Tennis at Mount Holyoke College Student: Aldo really pushes me on the court
because he understands who I am. He’s really good at gauging his personality to
fit you, depending on your style. Aldo Santiago, Head Coach, Tennis: A ball
really hard at the net, a ball really hard out, doesn’t mean anything.
Student: Right. Santiago: A decent volley right to the
feet that they miss, it says everything. Does that make sense?
Student: Yeah. Sarah Moore ’12: He wants to know us
individually and who we are and how we respond on the court and off the court. So on
the court, he knows one person will really like tough love and somebody maybe needs a little
bit more encouragement when they’re hitting. Santiago: I am looking for student-athletes
that love the sport. Of course, they have to have experience, USTA experience is key,
to be able to help on any team at a Division III school. Mount Holyoke is at the verge
of being one of the best in the area, and I need players that are willing to take that
responsibility, to help us out, to get to the next level. We’re doing great. We compete
well. We’re making our tournaments, but we want to take it one step further. And I’m
looking for recruits who are serious about tennis, love the sport, they’re great
students, and they’re willing to take that responsibility with me.
Moore: He really makes time to let you explore your academics while also pushing
you in tennis really, really far, pretty much as far as you’ll let him push you. So, Aldo’s
pretty much the best coach I’ve ever had in any sport, and I’ve played a lot of sports.
It’s quite an honor to be on his team. Nahrhee Han ’13: He truly does want
what’s best for you. It doesn’t always have to be tennis related. He wants you
to do well on and off the court. Santiago: Mount Holyoke is very fortunate
to have a great outdoor tennis complex. We have 12 courts outdoors, and indoors
we’ve got one of the best in the area. So, as soon as there is a problem with
outdoor play, because of the weather, we walk inside our place, and we’ve got a great
continuation of the outdoor match. For every single match, we have a
“secret sister.” And you draw a name out of the hat and you make something or
make a poster, give them a little gift, and it really just brings us all together and
pumps up the team for the match that day. If I can get the student-athletes out there
to come over and visit our school and interact with our players, I know that
they’re going to love this school. So, I’m looking forward to seeing you here.
But I want you to relax and play, feel good about the practice today, OK? That’s what
we’re going to do. So, let’s go.