Nov. 18, 2006
by Missy Jenkins
Student Assistant, UVa Athletics Media Relations
Caroline Hammond is like many other fourth-years. She is an art history major, a member of a sorority, and isn't sure what she wants to do after she graduates. She wakes up early to get to classes and does not get as much sleep as she should. One thing, however, that makes Hammond stand apart from her classmates is her commitment to the women's tennis team.
A Williamsburg native, Hammond joined the tennis team as a recruited walk-on and has since made her mark on the program. She hopes to pass on her work ethic and dedication to her younger teammates.
"Hopefully, they can see me and how far I've come from first-year, being a recruited walk on, hoping to be in the line-up," Hammond said. "I came in without a whole lot of confidence, and I feel like I earned my spot on the team, and hopefully everyone will look up to me for how I've handled it."
Being the only fourth-year on a team of 12 players, it's only natural that her teammates look up to her, both on and off the court. Hammond's encouragement and support is most appreciated by her teammates.
"The entire team looks up to Caroline not only because she is our only senior, but because she is very knowledgeable and gives very thoughtful advice whenever it is needed," Lindsey Pereira said. "She is always there for her teammates no matter how busy she might be with her own personal life. Her best qualities are how supportive and understanding she is to those around her."
Hammond understands and appreciates that her teammates look up to her; however, it's her high self-expectations that push her to be a leader on the court.
"I have a lot of expectations of myself just because I do play at the end part of the line-up which is a very important role on the team," Hammond said. "Those are the matches you are expected to win. I need to be accountable for every single match. It's exciting to me, and I'm really excited about this season."
This optimism comes on the tail of a strong 2005-06 season that saw the Cavaliers jump from 72nd in the preseason rankings to No. 23 by the end of the season. Hammond hopes the team does just as well this season.
"I'm hoping we will make it to the NCAA tournament and do well," Hammond said. "One thing I don't want to see us do is quit ever. I want us to give our all every single match out there."
Though Hammond is excited about the season, with the fall season underway and the spring season on its heels, it's difficult for her not to think about missing tennis and her teammates after she walks down the Lawn in May for graduation.
"We are fighting on the court together everyday, working hard, doing our running and going through some really physical and emotional times," Hammond said. "But we're also having unbelievable times outside the tennis court. I think having the team aspect and working together and doing something I love so much, I'll miss it. I'm hoping I'll be able to find something I love that much."
As Hammond approaches her final semester on Grounds, it is expected that Hammond will stand out- as a leader, as an impressive tennis player, and as a dedicated fourth-year student.