espnW: Annie Mulholland
It’s that time of the year again. The beautiful cherry blossoms are in bloom all over campus, K-ville is slowly turning green again, the BC plaza is buzzing with students enjoying the sunshine and the last day of classes is right around the corner.
It’s the most enjoyable time of the year for most students on campus. But for the student-athletes on spring sport teams, the end of the academic year means having to say good-bye to our seniors. Every year that we say goodbye to our beloved leaders we think maybe next year it will get easier -- it never does.
Marianne Jodoin and Hanna Mar are two of the most impressive people I know, and both embody everything that Duke women’s tennis, Duke athletics, and Duke University stand for.
As a junior transfer, Marianne came into Duke at a time in a student’s college career when one normally starts to hit their stride. She hit the ground running, and didn’t let anything faze her. She has seamlessly fit into our team dynamic and has always brought an electric positive energy. She is incredibly kind, thoughtful, and selfless, and I feel privileged to call her one of my best friends.
I’m so excited for Hanna to graduate, not because I want her to leave but because I want more than anything for her to finally be able to say she got her math degree! She is one of the hardest workers I know, and I am so proud of everything she has accomplished and of the person she has become along the way. Whether it’s little “minute physics” videos, Harry Potter fun facts, or her weekly sandwich-Monday blog, Hanna always looks to better those around her. Over the past three years I have watched her blossom into a remarkable person who will go on to do spectacular things.
Both of our amazing seniors have given so much of themselves to this team and to our program that from now on, we fight for them, we chase titles for them, we try to make the next month last as long as possible -- all for them.
I can’t believe this semester is already over! As we slowly pull ourselves out of the post-finals lull, it’s a time for reflection as well as a time to look forward to the upcoming season. This year we welcomed two new amazing freshmen -- Alyssa Smith and Chalena Scholl. They have both been wonderful new additions to DWT both on and off the court. Alyssa’s infectious laugh and bubbly personality as well as Chalena’s quick wit and down-to-earth personality have allowed them to seamlessly fit in on our team.
A funny part about our sport is that because we don’t have a month of preseason like the fall sports do, as we all head home for the holidays we must complete our preseason prep separately. This might sound counterintuitive, but because we have exactly one week upon returning to campus before our first home match (Jan. 12), you must trust that your teammates are putting in the same kind of work as you are. This group of girls, however, knows exactly what it takes to be successful and we have supreme confidence that three weeks apart and 3,000 miles cannot break this bond.
The transition from the individual fall season to the team spring season is always highly anticipated. We look forward to sharing the adrenaline-packed dual matches with our new freshmen as well as with you guys. Come out and support us in our first home match of the 2014 season on Jan. 12 at noon on the Sheffield Indoor courts!