By: Connor Blake, Staff Writer
Tracy Edwards, player on the Women’s tennis team and senior majoring in Health Sciences from Cranston, Rhode Island has played an integral role both on and off the tennis court this season. On the court she has been a steady contributor for both doubles and singles tennis. So far this year Edwards has already won an exhibition match and is looking forward for the regular season matches to get underway.
In 2017 Edwards started her first season with the huskies women’s tennis team and won her lone ingles match and went 0-2 in doubles play. In 2018 she turned that around and won her lone doubles match 8-0 with Margaret Smith. “I feel like every year I have played here, I have improved and that is really cool to see from a playing perspective,” said Edwards.
Edwards tennis career started before USM, in Cranston, Rhode Island at Cranston East High School. She joined the tennis team when she was a freshman and instantly fell in love with the sport. “ My coach was a computer tech who asked me to join the team. On the first day of practice, the team instantly accepted me on the team and that made me not only want to play tennis but get better at it too.” Said Edwards.
Now the former Cranston East graduate is about to graduate from USM in the spring and tennis has been in her life the whole time mainly because of the friendships and bonds made through the sport. “Tennis given me enjoyment in two main ways. First I get friends that will last a lifetime and its also given me different ways to strategize the game.” Said Edwards.
Off the court Edwards stays very connected within the USM community. She serves as a Lead Resident Assistant (LRA) in the Upton Hastings dormitory as well as her involvement in the Honors Student Organization, History Student Association and the Student Athlete Advisory Committee.
The one common thread through all of this is “all of the things I’m involved with give me a chance to meet new people and hopefully make a positive impact on their experience here.” said Edwards
Going on year number three of being an RA and first year of being an LRA, Edwards has found this position within residential life to be rewarding.
When asked why she wanted to become an RA in the first place Edwards said. “ I wanted to help people and make sure they enjoy their college experience and having only worked in first-year student residence halls has been exciting because each year I get to see how each resident grows by the end of the academic year”.
The work of an RA can be challenging and sometimes tiring, but she has always found something about the job to keep her coming back. “I enjoy the RA staff because they are fun to be around and being an LRA this year I have been able to lead and train other RAs on how to get things done and help them take care of their own floors,” said Edwards.
Being an athlete has served her well in the RA role as well as other jobs too. “Playing tennis is all about reading your opponent, and using what you observe as a competitive edge. In my job as an RA I use this same skill to read my residents and use what I observe as a way to get to know them better.” Said Edwards. “Having been a resident when Tracy was an RA and now being an LRA on the same staff as her, I know for a fact that her ability to connect with people is unmatched and that contributes to her making people feel welcomed,” Said Connor Blake, a junior majoring in Media Studies from Westbrook, Maine.
Being a student-athlete requires an extreme amount of organization and balance to make sure everything is being done correctly. Being a student-athlete, as well as an LRA can be a tall task to handle. “I think that watching her develop from the first year, I’ve seen her confidence grow and now seeing how she works as an LRA, and knowing her past in tennis,
I know that she has an incredible sense of balance in her life and that she’ll get things done well and on time.” Said Kelley Brague, Resident Director of Upton Hastings Hall.
Edwards favorite movie is “Shrek and Shrek 2”, her favorite website to read is “BuzzFeed” and her favorite band is the “Zac Brown Band”, lastly her favorite song is “Dancing Queen” by ABBA. When she is not watching her favorite movie, or dancing to her favorite song she is most likely around her friends and family. “I value my relationships with those close to be very much, and I want to make sure that they stay strong because I love all the people in my life.” Said Edwards.
Looking forward to the future and with graduation so soon, Edwards is openly optimistic about where she is going. “I want to become a middle school science teacher because I think doing experiments with young adults would make them enjoy science and would make learning more engaging.” Said Edwards.
Moments away from embarking on the future, when looking back at USM Edwards said, “I will remember how welcoming everyone was here and how that made me want to make USM my home for all 4 years”.
As the Women’s Tennis season moves on, they have their last home match on Tuesday, October 8th against Salem St.