Laker Low-down: Player of the Week

By Samantha Reid
samonthetorch@gmail.com

tennis spotlight

Name: Vivian Rodriguez
Sport: Tennis
Year: Sophomore
Hometown: Blue Island, Ill.
Major: Biology

Q: What are you most excited for, going into this season?
A: We just got a new head coach late fall [semester], so I am most excited to see what he has in store for us.

Q: What’s the biggest challenge the tennis program faces this season?
A: Unfortunately, one of the biggest challenges we are facing this season is our numbers. A lot of our players last year were seniors, so we have had a bit of trouble filling up our lineup.

Q: You just went to Hilton Head to play. How was that trip?
A: The trip was great! Not only was the weather beautiful, we were [also] within walking distance from the beach and cute shops. The competition was really good, and [they] were from many different schools that we don’t play in our conference. There was also a lot of team bonding between both the men’s and women’s teams that made us a stronger team. I would have to say the bonding was my favorite part.

Q: What made you decide to play tennis in college?
A: I played tennis all throughout high school, and after arriving at college, I missed playing. I never would have thought that I would play in college, but one day I decided to email the coach and ask him to try out.

Q: Do you have any people (players, coaches, supporters, etc.) that you look up to?
A: I would have to say I look up to my current coach. He went to school to become a lawyer and was doing well, but he decided to follow his passion even though he admitted he wasn’t the greatest player. That takes some serious guts, if you ask me. Not only do I look up to him in a tennis perspective, but in everyday life. He works long hours and is stressed out of his mind trying to build up the program, but he still manages to put a smile on his face and is willing to take on more stress for us. He always shows his concern for us not only academically, but in things going on in our everyday life, as well. He is putting every minute into us, and I just want to thank him for all that he has done.

Q: Where does the team practice and play?
A: Well, during this cold weather we practice at Midtown, which are indoor courts, but when the weather permits, our “home courts” are in Grant Park.

Q: How do you balance your tennis schedule with school?
A: Organization is one of my talents. It gets pretty hectic managing four different schedules–– work, tennis, school, and Alpha Gamma Delta –– but it can be done.

Q: When you aren’t playing tennis, what else do you like to do in your free time?
A: Honestly, when I have free time I like to enjoy it by watching Netflix and cuddling in my bed.

Q: When you’re done at Roosevelt, what’s your dream career?
A: After college, I want to go to medical school to become a radiologist. I really want to work at a children’s hospital, and if my dreams really come true, that hospital will be Northwestern Memorial Children’s Hospital. After my little sister was admitted there a few years back, they did a lot for my family, and I just want to be able to help families like they helped mine.

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