Jan. 20, 2014
Meet UMass tennis' Julia Larson. The freshman Nursing major finished the 2013 fall season with a singles win against Boston University at the Dartmouth Invitational, 6-7, 6-2, 6-3 (11/1-3). Larson is most familiar to the Pioneer Valley of any UMass player with hometown Boxborough just 70 miles from campus. Larson answered questions from Alli Houde about her tennis experiences and hopes for the future.
When did you begin playing tennis?
I began playing tennis in middle school.
How did you get involved in the sport?
A friend of mine invited me to join a tennis class with her and I loved the sport ever since.
Do you have family members involved in tennis?
No other family members play tennis.
What is your favorite memory attached to the sport?
My favorite memory attached to tennis is all the friends that I have made over the years. Some of my closest friends are people I have met through tennis and I would not have known them if we didn't share a common sport.
Who is/was your favorite coach?
I have had many coaches over the years and they all have had an impact on where I am today. The two coaches that have had the most impact on my tennis career are Mike Gardner and Kevin Curley.
Why did you choose UMass Amherst?
The school is close to home and I was given the chance to play; it is also a great school academically.
Do you have any superstitions for before or during matches?
I always bounce the ball 5 times before I serve.
What are your goals for the season?
My goal for the season is to improve all my skills and feel more confident during matches.
How are you preparing mentally and physically for the upcoming spring season?
I am playing a lot of tennis back at home and trying to focus on specific skills that I can bring back to school with me.
Give a reflection on how you think the 2013 fall season went. What are you happy with? What do you hope to improve upon for the upcoming spring season?
What are your hobbies outside of tennis?
Overall I am really happy with my performance during the fall season. I think I have improved a lot and really put in a lot of effort towards my game. I still have a lot of improvement for the following seasons and I am looking forward to developing my game even more.
I love traveling and will take any opportunity to travel.
Who is your most admired person and why?
I admire both of my parents because of how hard they work in order to give my brother and me the best opportunities possible.
Who is your most admired athlete and why?
Rafael Nadal because of how hard he works, just like every other athlete, and how humble he is with all of his success.
What is your favorite quote?
"Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid." -Albert Einstein
What are your plans for after college?
I hope to live in Boston and work in a hospital before going to grad school.