May 5, 2020

Senior Spotlight – Danielle Wolf

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Danielle Wolf, the lone senior on the this year’s Buckeye women’s tennis team, took a few minutes to talk about her time at Ohio State, the 2020 team and more.

Wolf, who ended the shortened 2020 season ranked 62nd nationally in singles, was 13-6 overall during the year, with a 7-2 record in dual matches, playing mostly on court two. An Academic All-Big Ten honoree, she earned her degree in communication this semester.

The team this year was off to an amazing start, reaching as high as No. 2 in the national rankings. What made this year’s team special?

We worked really, really hard. We set some pretty top-tier goals at the beginning of the season. We practiced each day with those goals in mind and every single person on the team wanted to reach them. We wanted to prove to the country what we were capable of and I think we did a great job of that.

What was your “welcome to college tennis” moment”?

I think my welcome to college tennis moment at Ohio State was during my redshirt season when we played Michigan in the Big Ten Tournament final at the University of Illinois. Nothing is quite like the Ohio State – Michigan rivalry. Experiencing that match and (4-0) win reassured me all of the hard work and early mornings I had been putting in would be worth it. And it was. Winning the Big Ten Tournament and regular season title that year was definitely one of my favorite memories as a Buckeye.

What are your Top 3 memories as a Buckeye?

It’s hard to narrow down all of the incredible memories I made during my time as a Buckeye down to three, but I’ll see what I can do.

  • Qualifying for the National Indoor Tournament this year, coming in as a 4 seed, was really special and gratifying. Our hard work had paid off. The upsets we pulled off against Wake Forest and Oklahoma State during the 2020 Kickoff Weekend set the tone for the rest of our season. We proved to the nation what we were capable of and most importantly we proved that to ourselves.
  • Clinching the win against No. 5 Duke this year might be my favorite memory as a Buckeye. Duke was only our third match of the season; there were still a lot of unknowns. Could we keep up the level we had at the Kickoff in Stillwater? The answer is yes, we could and did. Being able to clinch the win against Duke, for my team, as a senior, was really important to me. During my first year at Ohio State I had a meeting with Melissa and Adam, we talked about my game and my goals. I told them that I wanted them to be able to rely on me and trust me 100 percent. I wanted them to know what they were getting every single time I stepped on the court. I had worked my entire career to be put in this position, my team needed me to pull through for them. It was the most incredible feeling to be able to clinch that match for my team and coaches. I wanted my teammates to know they could always count on me and know I would do anything for them. We deserved that win. This win showed us we were capable of reaching and exceeding our team goals.
  • Beating Michigan at the ITA National Team Indoor Championship this year in Chicago is easily one of my favorite memories as a Buckeye. Nothing is more special than beating Michigan. That match meant so much to each and every one of us. I cannot even begin to describe what that win meant to me. Every single one of us gave everything we had to contribute to that win. It truly was a team effort. Being able to help my team win that match meant the absolute world to me.
  • I’m adding a fourth memory because I couldn’t choose just three. We had the privilege of playing on the biggest stage in college tennis at the USTA National Campus for the College MatchDay series. No. 2 Florida State vs. No. 5 Ohio State. The College MatchDay atmosphere was remarkable. There were almost 1,000 people in attendance and the match was televised on Tennis Channel. Not many college tennis teams get this kind of an opportunity. After losing a close doubles point we got ready for singles. I finished my match first, which seemed great at the time. It only took a few minutes for me to wish I was still playing. It is much more stressful and difficult to watch my teammates than it is for me to play. After what seemed like hours, it all came down to court four. I could barely even watch; I was pacing, and my back was turned away from the court until most of the points started. That match had a lot of momentum swings. I remember Kolie winding up for a bouncing overhead feeling like my stomach was going to drop, but I was ready to sprint. Next thing you know our team is huddled together crying and laughing … ‘look what we just did’. We knew we were going to be one of the toughest teams in the country but now everyone knew we were a national championship contender.
Ohio State Buckeyes

What are your plans for the future?

  • My initial plan for after the season was to play on the pro circuit and see how I could do. There are still a lot of unknowns because of COVID-19 so it is somewhat of a waiting game. There won’t be any tournaments for a while and when tournaments do start up again, everyone will be entering and trying to play them … which makes it harder for me to get in. We will see!

What does it mean to be a Buckeye?

  • It means the world to me. I had always wanted to be a Buckeye. Being able to represent The Ohio State University has been an absolute privilege. This University is one of a kind. Buckeye Nation is a giant family.

What advice would you give to future Buckeyes?

  • Enjoy every minute. You don’t realize how fast time goes by until it has. Appreciate all of the hardships. Some of the hardest times will be the most significant and best memories you will experience. When you become a student-athlete at Ohio State you are held to a different standard and you no longer are playing for yourself. Give absolutely everything you have and play for the Block O on your chest. Ohio State provides everything a student-athlete could need to be successful in their sport and in the classroom. Make sure to take advantage of everything Ohio State has to offer.

How do you think you’ve changed from your first year of college to now?

  • I came to Ohio State wanting to develop my game and reach my full potential. I gave everything I had during my time as a Buckeye and became a much better version of myself and a much better tennis player. I have matured a lot since my first year as a Buckeye. I am much stronger mentally and physically; I am much more confident, I am fitter, smarter on the court and I am reliable. My main goal during my time as a Buckeye was to be reliable and be the person everyone can count on. I would not be where I am today without Ohio State.

Anything else you want to add?

  • I want to thank Melissa and Adam for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to fulfill my dream of becoming a Buckeye. We put in a lot of work together over the last four years and without their time, commitment and dedication to me, I would not be the tennis player I am today. We have come a long way together and I still cannot believe it is over, but I am so proud of what we were able to achieve. To my team, thank you for pushing me and believing in me. We went through a lot together and I am going to miss it all. There is nothing like competing next to all of you. I’ll try to come around as much as I can next year. I am still in denial that this year and season is over but I am so proud of what we accomplished and how much we have grown. Thank you so much Buckeye Nation, it was an absolute honor.