Player Interview: Nataly Mendoza: Freshman Paulina Phelps sits down with senior tennis captain Nataly Mendoza

Posted by Paulina Phelps

Freshman Paulina Phelps sits down with senior tennis captain Nataly Mendoza to discuss the team's fall season and how it wrapped up, her tennis career, and what the future holds.
PP: How long have you been playing tennis?
NM: Since I was nine; quite some time now!
PP: Where are you from and what year at Skidmore are you?
NM: I'm a senior and I'm from San Francisco, California.
PP: How's senior year feeling so far? Can you give any advice to soon to be seniors on ways to prepare/what to expect?
NM: It's a different feel. It definitely feels like time is flying by. Something I'm definitely learning how to deal with is looking ahead to not only just choosing classes but also to where I'm going to be and what I'm going to do in the real world.
PP: What do you play on the tennis team?
NM: I play singles and doubles with Lee Ford, who is a junior, about the same amount.
PP: How would you describe the dynamic of the women's tennis team at Skidmore?
NM: It's a little different from years past only in the sense that it's a very tight knit group. We've always gotten along and there have never been huge personality clashes, but this year everyone is pretty great friends. We all hangout outside of tennis a lot which adds a cool feel to the team.
PP: How is the team doing so far this season? How is fall season different from spring?
NM: Our fall season is all tournaments so in a sense there is a lot of individual wins and defeats but we always take these as team successes and losses. We've had a few pretty big tournaments like the New York State Tournament and the ITA (Intercollegiate Tournament Association) Tournament, which we did really well in. We've also had a few dual matches we've done well in, like our match against RPI, which we won 9-0. Fall season sets up the rankings for the spring so even though we don't play as many matches and it's a shorter season there is still pressure to play well. The spring is when you get into the dual matches typically playing two to three matches a week.
PP: What do you feel is the team's greatest strength? What do you feel is your greatest strength as a player?
NM: I think the greatest strength of the team is the support we have for each other. Win or lose we offer each other great support. Through cheering each other on we help each other get through tough matches and even practices.

PP: How has it been balancing studies as well as athletics?
NM: It's been great. I definitely manage my time much better during tennis season because in-season you've got much more on your plate.
PP: What do you enjoy to do when you're not playing tennis?
NM: Hanging out with friends, just typical stuff.
PP: What is your favorite part of playing tennis at Skidmore?
NM: Having a really supportive group of girls on campus that I can always count on and being able to do something that I love.
PP: What's your favorite thing about Skidmore?
NM: I love the people at Skidmore and the town of Saratoga Springs.
PP: In your opinion does the school support athletics enough?
NM: I think over the years Skidmore has made an increasing effort to support all of our athletic teams and I would like to see this continue and expand!
PP: What has playing tennis taught you over the years?
NM: There's always room for improvement, a lot of room for improvement.
PP: What is your major and what are your plans for after Skidmore?
NM: I'm a health and exercise science major. I'm looking into professions in the medical field but have yet to decide on a career path.
PP: Anything else you would like to say?
NM: I'd like to thank my teammates for a great fall season. The girls pushed me to become better than I ever thought I could be. I love them all.

Campus Safety Reports Oct. 12 to 18

Hit with the Nationally Ranked Skidmore Men's Tennis Team: Come swing your racket with Skidmore Saturday, Oct. 19