Alexis Franco is a freshman on the Wake Forest women’s tennis team. With a strong performance in her first collegiate tournament at the Elon Invitational from Sept. 9-11, Deacon fans can look forward to four more years of excellent tennis.
Why did you choose Wake Forest?
I was looking for a school that had very good academics. That’s a major part of what I wanted, because I would like to go into medical school afterwards. I wanted a strong base for my degree, and I also wanted good athletics because I want to represent my school well in the sport that I play.
What got you into tennis?
My grandparents brought my sister and I out to the public courts one day, and were like “Let’s try some tennis.” I wasn’t quite interested right away, but I started to fall in love with it after playing two years recreationally.
How has the transition to college been so far, both athletically and academically?
It’s been a little bit different because I feel like there’s a lot more work than in highschool. Time management is a big part, along with organization. I’ve gotten used to that so far with using a planner and working in the Miller Center for study hours. It’s been good so far, though! Hopefully I can continue being organized.
How was your first tournament?
It was really good. For my first match, I was so nervous. I kind of knew what to expect, but I didn’t think I’d be that nervous going out there.
It was something new, you know, being my first match representing Wake Forest and playing as a Demon Deacon. It was really awesome to do that. After that match, I got the nerves out of the way and was able to play like I usually play. Do you have any pre-match rituals?
I try to run a lot, just to keep the blood flowing, but nothing really. That was really nerve-wracking playing for the first time.
How were you and Courtney able to work so well together on the court?
We just have really good chemistry and bounce off of each other really well. We communicate, which is a big part of doubles, and we give each other feedback on what we need to do.
Communication between us is definitely a huge part, and we did very well with it. That’s what got us to finals in the doubles draw.
What are some personal goals for you this year, and what are some goals that the team has?
My personal goals are that I’m working towards getting 100 wins within my four years.
That’s an amazing accomplishment to have under my belt, and I would like to be nationally ranked. A team goal of ours is that we want to get to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament this year.
Junior women’s tennis player Courtney Meredith is primed for a breakout 2016-17 season. After being sidelined with an injury last spring, Meredith returned this year and played well at the Elon Invitational.
What’s been your favorite moment as a Demon Deacon so far?
I would have to say my sister, Mary Caroline Meredith, committing here. That’s my favorite memory, just being able to have the family all in one spot.
Why did you choose Wake Forest?
I wanted a combination of really good academics and really good athletics.
How’s it been playing with Alexis so far, especially in the Elon Invitational last weekend where you made the final of the doubles draw?
I love Lexie. We did really well together and we meshed well.
She’s super competitive and always kept my spirits up on the court playing doubles so I loved it.
What was it like being crowned co-champions of the Elon Invitational singles draw?
We actually had some motivation behind that because if we both made it to the finals, we knew that we wouldn’t have to play the next day.
We were both super tired, so that was kind of some external motivation.
Though it’s early in the season, what’s the team dynamic like?
It’s a little weird because now I am an upperclassman, so I can consider it more of my team.
The team dynamic so far has been really positive. We expect to see some good results going into this weekend, so we’ll see how that goes.
What areas are the team excelling in, and what areas are the team focusing on tuning up during the fall season?
The support is there, just from court to court. I know it’s not season yet, but going into this fall tournament knowing that I can look over and rely on my teammates to give me a pump-up cheer is really good.
As far as something we need to work on, I know we can always improve our doubles from a tactical standpoint.
What are some team goals this season, and what is your personal goal?
Making it to the top 16 of the NCAA is our team goal, and as far as a personal goal, I just need to stay healthy.
I’ve been injured quite a bit throughout my career, so staying healthy is a personal goal of mine.