For many students, college can be the best years of their life, and that’s how Margo Pletcher of the University of Utah women’s tennis team feels. As she enters her senior year, she has mixed feelings about the end drawing near. She is looking forward to the future and what it holds, but when the time comes to move on from competing as a college athlete, she knows it’s going to be tough to walk away.
Pletcher, a California native, decided to attend Utah so she could play for the women’s tennis program. She fell in love with the sport at a young age when her dad decided he wanted to learn something that he could teach his daughters, and tennis was the answer.
Fast forward to her senior year of college, and Pletcher has made memories that will last a lifetime. The traveling that she has been able to do with her team is something she has loved. With the new season coming up, she’s excited to add more places to the list of where she’s been before it’s time to say goodbye to Utah.
“We’ve been to so many states,” Pletcher said. “And we’re going to a lot of places this year. Just in the fall, we’re going to Rhode Island, Virginia, California (twice), Hawaii and Chicago.”
What Pletcher said she’ll miss the most is the team aspect that comes along will college tennis. Growing up, she said tennis was an individual sport and after college, it will become that again, but right now, she continues to soak up the opportunity to compete with a team.
“Growing up, you play an individual sport,” Pletcher said. “So I was on my own all the time, you travel alone or with your dad or a coach. You don’t get to experience team that much. So coming into college, it’s a way different experience. You learn how to win together and lose together. People count on you, and you count on people.”
Pletcher knows that her experience at Utah has been what she’s made of it. Something her coach has stressed repeatedly to all the tennis athletes is to enjoy it all now, because it will all end, and it will be missed.
“As hard as it is and the amount of travel, it’s so hard to keep up with school, sometimes,” Pletcher said. “All you want to do is complain about waking up early for weights and practice and missing so much, but now that I’m a senior, I’m already scared that it’s going to end because these have definitely been the best years of my life, and you’ll never get it back again. You’ll never experience something like being a part of a team playing a college sport.”
For her dad, Mitch, who introduced her to the sport she can’t get enough of, he has enjoyed watching his daughter excel as an individual and on a team.
“It’s been real gratifying,” Mitch said. “It’s fun to see the fruits of your labor pay off and have somebody who took everything that you offered to them and went with it.”