Freshman Chronicles from Alex Rovello
Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2010
I just completed my first term as a student-athlete for the University of Oregon. Being a freshman from Portland, Ore., playing for the men's tennis team is a dream come true. Adjusting to college life was quite easy thanks to the support of my coaches, family and teammates.
My first taste of competing for the Ducks came in Tulsa, Okla., at the NCAA All-American, which coincided with the first week of classes. This tournament fields the best players from around the country and I felt honored just to be there. I came out nervous and lost in the first round. Even though I was extremely disappointed in my results, I learned a lot from this experience. Once I got back, I was motivated to do better in the upcoming tournaments. The next tournaments our team would play would be at Boise State, followed by Stanford. I posted decent results reaching the round of 16 in both of tournaments.
We finished with the PNW Intercollegiate Championship Tournament at the University of Washington. I played well at UW in an open tournament last fall and hoped to carry that experience over to this tournament. Despite entering the tournament unseeded, I reached the semifinals by upsetting the number two seed (Lachlan Reed) from Idaho in the quarterfinals 3-6, 6-0, 6-1. It was a great win and it showed with hard work I can compete against the best. It was nice to close the last tournament of the fall on a high note heading into the spring. I ended with a 6-4 record in the fall and can't wait for January. Having great coaching and exceptional teammates who motivate and support me daily has made this step to the college level possible.
Being a student- athlete, academics play just as big a role as athletics. Balancing the two was tough for me in the beginning. It was hard managing assignments when I had to miss two days weekly of the first three weeks of school due to tournaments. Yet thanks to the supports from my friends, coaches and teammates I was able to manage quite well. The best advice I could have gotten came from my upperclassmen teammates who knew the ins and outs of adjusting to college life.
Overall, I have enjoyed my first term being a Duck. I love everything about this school and can't wait for our dual season to begin. Hope to see everyone at our home matches.