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Getting to Know Noelle Malley

What has the transition been like, going from homeschooling and prep matches in Kansas City to college life at Ohio State?
I was ready for college before I came here, but testing and other school things took a little while to get used to. After the first quarter, I feel pretty comfortable with it. It’s been fun. Tennis-wise, the girls in college hit the ball much harder and you have to be stronger and in better shape, so that’s been a good transition for me.

What was your first day in the classroom like?
My first class here was a math lecture with 250 people in it, so it was pretty much what I expected for Ohio State. But my next class had about 30 people and I was thinking all the classes would be a lot bigger. I’ve found out only the lectures have been huge classes, which is really nice. It’s really not what I was expecting at all. It’s been a fun transition. I’ve learned a lot about myself and met a lot of good people and had a lot of great experiences so far.

What do you miss most about home?
I miss my family quite a bit. I miss my dogs a lot, too. I try to talk to my family once a day and Skype once a week, but it’s been good here. I haven’t really been homesick too much.

What’s your favorite thing about Ohio State so far?
I love that everybody in Columbus is so nice. I just love the people here. During my recruiting trip my mom and I were walking around campus and we had no idea where we were going. People would just stop and ask us if they could help us. It felt like being home. People in Kansas City are really nice, too. And the team is great. I love hanging out with my teammates.

How has your tennis game improved since joining the team?
I’ve gotten a lot stronger with our training program. I’ve just been hitting better, too. Coach Merzbacher does a great job of helping players transition to the college game. You have to learn to get lower and compete really hard in college.

What is life like with your teammates?
I hang out with Kelsey Becker and Kara (Cecil) a lot because they make me laugh. They’re both complete goofballs. We’re all pretty close to the same level, tennis-wise. We all push each other. We’re all team players. Paloma (Escobedo) is kind of a jokester, too, but I think we all are to some extent.

Which player did you connect most with during your visit here?
My host during my official visit was Cami (Hubbs). I talked to Christina Keesey a lot while I was here, too. She and I were pretty close. I really didn’t get to know the sophomores that well because it was only their second week of school. Tiffany (Dittmer) was on my official visit with me, so we had time to hang out during the trip. I got really close to Cami and Keesey, definitely.

What are your expectations for the 2011 season?
I expect us to grow close as a team, which we’re all pretty close as it is. I love to travel, so taking trips and visiting different schools will be a lot of fun. Of course I can’t wait to compete and show everybody what we can do. Individually, I just want to prove myself and show that I deserve to be a Buckeye.