One-on-one with Allison Chuang '19
Allison Chuang ’19 is the only freshman on the women’s tennis team. This past season, she contributed to the team’s overall 13-6 record in both singles and doubles play. The Dartmouth sat down with Chuang to reflect on her first season in a Big Green uniform.
What did you enjoy most about the season looking back?
AC: I would definitely say just being able to spend time with my teammates. I feel very lucky to be around such a great group of women, so it’s just really cool to go through so much with them. That’s a really special part.
What’s it like being the only freshman on the team?
AC: I feel very spoiled. Since there’s only one freshman to worry about, it seems like a big difference to me from other teams that have more. It was tough at first in terms of just feeling alone, but then after that I became such good friends with the rest of the team that it wasn’t a big deal.
In what ways is being a collegiate athlete different than what you expected?
AC: I think that I knew it would be a big time commitment, but I don’t think you ever really realize until you are in that situation. Of course I like it, but with being so busy I don’t always have time to do as many things as I would like.
What do you think the strongest part of your game was this season?
AC: I think the most important part [for me] was just good energy, especially with tennis the amount of cheering and positive energy you bring to the court can really help your team, like that could be the point that changes the game.
What have you learned most playing by playing at the [Division I] collegiate level?
AC: I don’t know how to fully put it into words, but the idea of being on a team, especially with tennis. It’s a very individual sport — like high school, the level is just different, so for the first time it’s kind of like I’m playing for my teammates and I want to win for them, and feeling that responsibility to them.
What do you hope to achieve on the courts next year?
AC: I mean there’s always stuff you can improve on, probably just positive energy, things like that.
How do you balance the responsibilities of being a student and an athlete that competes year around?
AC: I would go to class, go to practice then go to the library and study. I’ve become very aware of the time I’m taking up, and I’ve become super efficient as a result. That’s not to say I don’t have time for anything, but it’s just that mentality [of efficiency].
What are you looking forward to most in the next three years at Dartmouth?
AC: I think just the new members that come in [to the team]. I just think that each year will be very different. Obviously, I’m going to really miss the seniors, but we’ll also be getting in a new batch of freshmen, so I won’t be the baby on the team anymore, which is kind of exciting. And just being able to build that new team environment every year will be really cool.
This interview has been edited and condensed for length and clarity.