Viewpoint: Life ain’t easy when serving aces 5,000 miles away from home

By Kasey McMillian

This semester I have had the privilege of covering matches for the women’s tennis team. Whenever I began writing for The Lariat, I was really nervous because it was my first time reporting and writing and I didn’t really know what to expect.

Then I was told that I was going to be writing about tennis, and even though it was a subject I didn’t know much about, I’ve always had a passion for sports and knew I would eventually get the hang of it.

Growing up, I never paid any attention or showed any interest in tennis just because I was too busy playing other sports. I’ve been an athlete all of my life and skied since I could walk, so in a way that lifestyle has defined who I am.

As a result, I had a little bit of an advantage starting out because I could relate to the athletes. I know what it’s like to push yourself individually, be devoted to your team, and make sacrifices.

Interviewing the tennis team has been a great way for me to build confidence as a reporter because the women and the coaches are so easy to talk to. I started to engage with the players and the coaches, and relationships began to form. They have been so open and welcoming; everyone has treated me with so much respect.

Then I realized I was spending so much time up at the Hurd Tennis Center not only for school but because I wanted to be there. I knew most of the women personally and wanted to go watch and cheer on some of the women I had started to look up to.

Throughout this semester I have been able to see how much time and effort the coaches and players put into tennis. They work each day and dedicate the majority of their time being committed to women’s tennis.

It has brought out a whole new respect from my prospective for these women.

Almost all of the women are foreign and have left their families and everything they have always known behind. Not only have they had to learn a completely different language, but they’ve also adapted to a totally different atmosphere.

Their commitment to tennis and willingness to be so far away from home just proves in itself how much love they have for the game.

Their passion has sparked my interest for tennis and even though the women’s tennis team makes it look so easy, I have been wanting to learn how to play. Maybe I’ll pick up a tennis HP one semester, or take a tennis lesson, which is something I probably would have never done before.

Kasey McMillian is a junior journalism news-editorial major from Lubbock and is a reporter for the Lariat.