Madison Tattini Looks to Build on Rookie of the Year Campaign

%28Courtesy+of+Utah+Athletics%29

(Courtesy of Utah Athletics)

By Adam Cochran , Sports Writer

Choosing Utah

When tennis coaches from the University of Utah first contacted Madison Tattini, she was skeptical. Tattini wondered why she should come to Utah all the way from her home in Illinois, but she read a flyer about Utah and decided to take a visit.

It was love at first sight. “As soon as I landed, saw the campus and met the team, I thought this is where I want to go,” Tattini said. “I didn’t even visit any other schools afterward because I knew this is where I wanted to be.” Once she stepped foot on campus, saw the beautiful Wasatch mountains and talked to people, she was stricken, “Everything was perfect, it’s what I wanted.”

 

A Great Freshman Year

Tattini, a sophomore on the University of Utah Women’s tennis team, looks to continue her stellar start to her career as a Ute. Last year she was honored as the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Freshman of the Year for the Mountain Region.

“Getting the rookie of the year was definitely a proud moment,” Tattini said. “It shows that all of my hard work last year paid off. I was really excited coming in and I wanted to prove myself, that I could hang in this conference and hang playing high in the lineup. I was proud I was able to achieve that.”

On top of the Rookie of the Year honor, Tattini was honored as a Scholar-Athlete by the ITA. This means she maintained at least a 3.5 GPA. She is a biology major and looks forward to going on to veterinary school after she graduates.

 

The Bond of a Team

Besides tennis, Tattini enjoys spending time with her teammates outside of practices and competitions.

“They’re amazing people — we hang out off the court all the time,” Tattini said. “We are with each other almost every day. I enjoy coming out [for practice], we rant about our days, our classes, everything that’s going on. They’re good venting people, they’re good friends.”

The bond of the team was evident while talking with Tattini. Everything she said was about the team and team goals. When asked about her personal goals, she would immediately respond with what she hopes the team accomplishes together. This bond, that is strengthened as the team spends time with each other, is what Tattini hopes will carry them to improved success this year.

Whether it’s listening to their team playlist, “Music that Gets the Girls Going,” which consists of what she referred to as “throwback pop that gets the energy going,” or telling one another “we’re going to beat USC,” during sprints and daily conditioning, the Utes are a family.

 

Welcoming a New Coaching Staff

A part of this family  is a new coaching staff, including new Head Coach Ric Mortera, who has already made some changes.

“I’m really looking forward to how the team progresses with the new coaching staff, the new trainers, everything,” Tattini said. “I think we are going to be really good this year, and especially since we got three new girls. I think the environment on the team is just amazing.”

She continued to say they are getting in better shape, something that Tattini admitted was a weakness for her last year. She hopes the sprints that the team is doing at practice are going to help her with her lateral movement. “Hopefully, I can improve, because it’s vital playing these Pac-12 girls. They run you all over the place.”

 

Mental Toughness

Tattini cited her mental toughness as the strongest aspect of her game. Her father, Chad Tattini, agreed with his daughter on this front. He relayed the story of a match that Tattini was involved in last season against Washington State. Tattini was in the middle of a long match when her calves started cramping. The cramps got so bad that she even debated dropping out of the match — until word reached her that the teams were tied in match play. Her withdrawal would mean that the Utes would lose the duel.

She immediately made the decision to keep competing. This mental toughness paid dividends as Tattini won the match, thus winning it for Utah as a team.

“It’s probably one of the best matches I’ve ever seen her play. With no calves, she couldn’t even run. She pulled it out for her team’s sake,” Tattini’s father said, with an obvious air of pride in his voice.

 

Aspirations Moving Forward

For Tattini, playing in the Pac-12 is a dream come true. Playing tennis at Utah has lived up to that dream, and she hopes to keep competing in the Pac-12. She says the team goals are to beat more Pac-12 teams, especially the California schools — USC in particular, as indicated by their motivational phrase while completing sprints. Besides beating these schools, they hope to qualify for the NCAA tournaments after the Utes missed out by one team last year. She capped this by relating her own personal goals for the season.

“My individual goal would be to beat a couple of those [Pac-12] players, get as highly ranked as I can in singles and just do my best.”

 

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