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Inside the head; Reynoso defines never-give-up attitude

October 29, 2010

For most people, playing one sport in college is hard enough, both physically and mentally when trying to balance it with school work. But for sophomore Ashley Reynoso, she couldn’t see herself without playing both tennis and soccer.

“After playing both sports in high school, I realized that coming to college I could not give up either of them,” said Reynoso. “To play both I have to split time and divide practices in half. I go to tennis for half and then go to soccer for the other half. I think it does limit how good I can be at either one alone, but I love both and could not give up either.”

A large part of why Reynoso did not want to give up tennis was because of the coach. “I liked how coach  was interested in me, and was very active in bringing me here,” Reynoso said. “I also knew a girl on the team which made me interested.”

During the week, the team does a lot to prepare for games. Reynoso explained, “We do a lot of running and exercising. To keep us motivated we listen to music and get moving and get in the zone. We also do tons of serves which has improved my own serve a lot. We also do a lot of scrimmaging and sometime bring in the guys team to practice against.”

The main weapon Reynoso has in her arsenal is her serve. “My serve is definitely the strongest part of my game. I think it is because I can do a kick serve, which is fast and aggressive. It is pretty hard for my opponents to retrieve it.”

Aces are serves that are not returned because the server’s opponent never touches the ball with their racket, and Reynoso thrives on aces. “It is overwhelming when you serve an ace, and if you’re up, you know you are playing well and keeps you motivated, and gets you ready to win the next point.”

Even though Reynoso has a great serve, she cannot rely on just that. “I serve aggressively but usually play defensively. It turns it into a mental game when I just play back and they are up at the net and have to play much harder than I do while I sit back and just return their hits. It really gets into their head and causes them to get frustrated and make errors.”

This style of play is what set up her most memorable moment in tennis. “In tennis it is really hard to hit down line. But this time when my opponents were up on the net I hit it down line on game point to win and the crowd went nuts.”

Even though Reynoso is happy about how she has played this year she knows there is still room to improve. “My mental game needs to improve. During games when I had double faults on serves it would really frustrate me. And when I played doubles if we were down in the beginning and I felt it was on me and I can’t think that way. Also since I am just coming off an ACL injury I still need to get some speed back.

Reynoso missed most of last season with a torn ACL and had to work hard to get back into playing shape. “I had to do some intense rehab, over winter break. I knew I had to get back to tennis and soccer because quitting was not an option. It was every day I worked and any time I got lazy I thought about my next season and how hard I needed to work to get back to my peak.”

Overall, Reynoso is happy about this year but isn’t satisfied. “This year I did all I could and was very proud of my year, especially coming off an injury. But next year I feel like I will have more competition and I will need to step it up because they will want to beat me even more knowing I beat them last year.”

Co-Sports Editor

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