Senior Alex Jahnle and the Virginia field hockey team conclude regular season at 1 p.m. Saturday vs. ACC rival Duke at the University Hall Turf Field. Jahnle, a native of Newton Square, Mass., is one of three seniors - along with teammates Rachel Jennings and Adrienne Ostroff - who will be honored on the field following the game with the Blue Devils. Jahnle recently caught up with VirginiaSports.com to talk about senior day, the season, advice she would give future UVa field hockey players and her future in civil engineering.
Question: What will senior day mean to you?
Jahnle: I think it's going to be pretty exciting to see how the team plays in our final regular season game. We love playing at home and a lot of our friends and family will be here. It's kind of weird that I am already a senior; it's interesting to see how I've changed as a player over the years. I'm just really looking forward to going out there and playing my last game at home and we'll see what happens.
Question: How do you think you have changed and grown as a player?
Jahnle: I think I have become more confident as a player. Now that I know the system, I know where to pass the ball when I get it. I'm more comfortable on the field.
Question: What has it meant to you to be part of this program?
Jahnle: It's just great to be a part of this team. There are so many people who have your back and you know they are there for you. I've met some of my best friends that I will have for my whole life on this team. That's the biggest thing. I've also learned how to manage my time and organizing everything with classes and hockey.
Question: Can you describe this season a little bit?
Jahnle: It's been a new year; a lot of new players; a really young team. More than three fourths of the team is either first or second years. It's interesting being one of the older players and realizing how many players need to learn the system and get used to how we play.
Question: What advice would you give to future Virginia field hockey players?
Jahnle: Don't get discouraged your first year. It's difficult making the transition from high school to college but you have to stick with it and keep working hard. Things will work out in the end and you'll get better as a player if you keep working. In the classroom, you have plenty of opportunities to find what you are interested in doing.
Question: What do you like to do for fun?
Jahnle: When you are civil engineering major, you have a lot of work. In my free time, I just like to hang out with other people, the people I don't usually see since I am so busy with field hockey. Just do the other things that aren't part of my day-to-day schedule.
Question: What is your interest in civil engineering?
Jahnle: All my life I have been interested in buildings and more specifically how the structure comes together. I like math, I like science - so I decided I would go the civil engineering route. Then I took a class this past spring in transportation engineering and I really enjoyed that class. I have focused this year on a transportation engineering thesis project and am looking at combining the two when I graduate and look for a job.
Question: What's next for you?
Jahnle: Basically my next move is to get a job. There is a fundamentals of engineering test I would take in the spring. Eventually, there is a professionals of engineering exam I would take in four or five years and that would allow me to get the "P.E." (professional engineer) after my name.
Question: What is your favorite spot on Grounds?
Jahnle: I am going to say, since I am in the engineering buildings a lot, the courtyard near Thorton. It has some benches and picnic tables and it's really nice in the springtime. I also really like the music library because it's really quiet and it's a great place to study.