Before the ITA got underway yesterday, Josh Zlatkus spoke with third-year Chrissy Hu, who qualified for the doubles draw along with her partner, second-year Kendra Higgins, about her experiences on the court.
CHICAGO MAROON: Tell me about Regionals.
Chrissy Hu: Exhausting. Kendra and I had a bye the first game because we were ranked number one. From there we entered a bracket of 32. But it wasn’t just doubles. Some girls played four games a day—two singles, two doubles—depending on whether they won. Kendra won singles, too, so she had to play four games every day, including the doubles finals.
CM: And in the finals?
CH: We had played them a couple of times before; they were the second-ranked team in the region. We won 2–6, 6–4, 6–4. It was really close.
CM: What are the strengths Kendra and you bring to the court as a team?
CH: Kendra is obviously a very strong singles player. My style is more suited for doubles. Generally, how it works is Kendra’s got great ground strokes and serves, and I stay at net. We complement each other very well because she sets up from the back and then I can put away the ball at the net.
CM: What did you take away from Regionals?
CH: A lot of it for me and Kendra was experience with each other. Last year we only started playing together after coaches began experimenting with match-ups. So we’ve only had one year with each other. A lot of other teams we play have more. For example, the team we beat in Regionals has been together for three years. More experience helps me to anticipate where she’ll be, what her tendencies are, etc.
CM: What are you expectations concerning Nationals?
CH: Well, I’ve never made it to the ITA Nationals before. But it’s going to be an amazing environment. What’s interesting is that all divisions will be there: I, II, III. You don’t often have a chance to get out of the D-III environment.
CM: Excited or nervous? CH: Excited. For singles, I get nervous. But with doubles, you’re out there with a partner, a friend. It’s going to be a lot of fun. I’ve never been to Alabama before…
CM: How do you celebrate?
CH: Well, it’s kind of a team tradition after last year to go out and get ice cream. Every time we win a tournament, or a big match…. A lot of the girls on our team love ice cream.