So far, the Carnegie Mellon women’s basketball team has had a mixed season. Within the last two weeks, the team has won two of four University Athletic Association (UAA) games, with at-home wins against Emory University and Case Western Reserve University. During this streak, junior guard Leah Feola had some of her top career performances. She was also named the Eastern College Athletic Conference co-player of the week. This week, the Tartan sat down with Feola to talk about her success on the court.

Tartan: When did you start playing basketball?
Feola: Well, I’ve always been athletic and really liked sports, so I started playing in third grade, basically because it was the only sport available.

T: Did you plan on playing even when you got to college?
F: Definitely. I also played volleyball in high school, but I really wanted to play basketball. It was actually part of my decision when I was choosing schools.

T: So the team was part of your decision to come to Carnegie Mellon?
F: I definitely wanted to play basketball, and my older brother was also an athlete at Carnegie Mellon, and he really liked it. I didn’t come on a recruiting trip or anything, but I really like the idea of getting to be on a competitive team and going to one of the top academic schools in the country.

T: Any accomplishments you are particularly proud of?
F: Winning the two UAA games [this year] is a big accomplishment. UAA play is really competitive, and they’re hard teams to beat, so winning two of three is exciting.

Also, I have had three double-double games, which is double-digit points and rebounds, so that’s something I’m kind of proud of.

T: How do you manage to balance your time with basketball and your academic course load?
F: Planning a schedule and staying on top of things is really key. It can be a little bit of a challenge sometimes, but really, if I keep track of everything and don’t fall behind in work and reading, it isn’t too bad.

T: Do you have any place in particular that you’ve gotten to travel to for basketball that’s a favorite?
F: It’s so nice that we get to travel so much. Playing alone is amazing, and then that extra experience of getting to travel to so many cities every year is incredible. Chicago is probably my favorite, but Boston and St. Louis are really nice, too. Plus, next year, we’re planning to go to a tournament right before Christmas in Cancun! So that should be a great trip; and then, it’s not for basketball, but I’m going to Ireland for spring break, so I’m really excited about that.

T: What are your favorite things to do to relax when you have the extra time?
F: Well, hanging out with my friends, sleeping, just watching TV, things like that that everyone does, and shopping. I love shopping, especially jewelry, that’s really my weakness. I definitely raided the Tri-Delta jewelry sale last week; I loved that.