Athletes of the week

Alyssa Onan

Jason Dunn: Men’s TennisWhat is the biggest difference between high school and college tennis?
The biggest difference between high school and college tennis would have to be the closeness among teammates. I feel closer to my college teammates after only playing one season with them than I do with players I played with for four years in high school. We are together for a large part of each day and I feel comfortable telling and or trusting in any member of our team. We are our own little family.
What’s it like playing with your brother?
Playing with my brother is a dream come true. I’ve always looked up to my big bro as a role model and for advice when I need it. Ryan’s game is beautiful to watch, whereas mine is a tad uglier and brutal to the common eye. I feel I am a good partner for Ryan because we have always hit together over our lives and we know each other’s games inside and out. We don’t tend to get too stressed out or tighten up in the big matches because we are so comfortable with our game. If, for whatever reason, one of us does get stressed or angry during the match, the other one of us will crack a joke and bring the match back into perspective.
How does it feel to be a freshman playing number one doubles?
Being a freshman and playing number one doubles is a great honor and I must say it was my goal I had striven for coming into the season. I played number one doubles for my high school for two years and gained some advice and strategy from some great coaches. I don’t feel the pressure that most people think I might going into a doubles match. I am comfortable with who I am and how I will perform. It’s always nice to have my brother drilling winners on our opponents all match too.
What are your goals for conference?
My goals for conference are, number one, to win team conference; after that, I hope to win doubles conference with my brother and perhaps advance on to nationals.
Who is your favorite pro tennis player and why?
My favorite tennis player is, and has been my whole life, Marat Safin. I am in love with his backhand and his passion he shows on and off the court. Also he has the record for most smashed racquets on the ATP tour, which is always fun to watch.

Emily Perish: Softball

What has been the most rewarding part of the team’s partnership with Friends of Jaclyn?
The most rewarding part of our partnership with Friends of Jaclyn has been Emma’s effect on the team and myself. She has a spirit about her that’s contagious. I’m in continual disbelief about how positive her attitude is in the face of a life-threatening illness, her brain tumor. Seeing this has really put things in perspective for me; that is, Emma has made me realize how important it is to not take the little things in life for granted. I feel honored to know her, and I’m confident this feeling is shared amongst the rest of the team.
What is your favorite position on the field and why?
My favorite position is pitcher. I love defense and I like the feeling of being involved in every play that happens.
How have the freshmen had an impact on the team?
This year the freshmen have been a huge addition. Out of the nine starters, up to five have been freshmen. They bring talent and an energy that I think was lacking last year.
Do you have a pre-game routine? What is it?
I’m not very superstitious – unlike my roommate/our center fielder Katie Simonsen – so I don’t have much of a pre-game routine, but I like to listen to music, usually The Used, before [a game]. It helps me get focused.
What is the team’s biggest accomplishment this season?
This year we were hoping to make it into the conference tournament. Unfortunately, we didn’t meet that goal, but we were able to learn to trust one another. We had to due to injuries – our starting shortstop Carli Gurhult and our starting catcher Danni Cherry have been out for a majority of the season – along with various other intermittent injuries, which have forced people to play in positions they’re not used to. So, I think our biggest accomplishment was never giving up.

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