ATHLETE PROFILE: Andrea Meythaler
The women’s tennis team has gone 3–0 to open the spring season, and has had two University Athletic Association (UAA) athletes of the week. One such athlete is first-year art student Andrea Meythaler. At all three matches, Meythaler won in both individual and doubles play. Last week, The Tartan sat down with Meythaler to discuss her recent success and the rest of the tennis season.
Tartan: When did you start playing tennis, and how did you start playing competitively?
Meythaler: Well, tennis is a huge sport down in Florida. There are literally special academies designated for tennis. I started hitting a ball around when I was about 6, and then started training and competing when I was about 12. I did play for my high school. I actually played on the high school team from when I was in seventh grade until I graduated. High school tennis wasn’t so much a big deal though; really it was just I had a coach and traveled around playing for state rankings.
T: Was it part of your decision to come to Carnegie Mellon?
M: Definitely. I first came here on a recruiting trip, and really enjoyed the school, and then our coach was absolutely amazing, and set me up with an art student, so I came back a second time to look at the school academically. The art department here was just so incredible; I just couldn’t not come here.
T: Have you developed any pre-match rituals?
M: We actually kind of have a couple as a team. We always get the same snacks before a match: peanut butter and bananas. We also have this goofy high five thing that we try to do, but always mess up.
T: As a first-year, how are you handling academics and tennis?
M: Sometimes it’s really hard. With art, it isn’t just studying, and learning something, it’s putting tons of time into a piece, so it’s really just a lot of time and effort and knowing what you want to be doing.
T: Is there anywhere in particular that you’re excited to get to travel to during the season?
M: We’re going to California to train and compete over spring break, which should be a lot of fun. We go to Cleveland for the UAA championships in April, which should be fun too, but we miss most of Carnival so I’m a little sad to be missing that my first year here.
T: Do you have any personal or team goals for the season?
M: I don’t really have any personal goals, but it’d be really great for us to do well as a team. We have a really strong, confident team and we play really well together. We don’t play like a Division III team, and we have a lot of potential, so I’m really excited to see how the season will go.
T: How do you feel about the mascot debate?
M: I want a mascot, because personally, I would love to be the mascot. I’d like a highlander, you know like a painted warrior, like something out of Braveheart, it could ride on a horse! That would be an amazing mascot!