Catching Up With Women's Tennis
Sept. 23, 2008
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Marjorie Ondeck is a junior on the Memphis women's tennis team. She is originally from Monroe, Ct., where she competed at St. Joseph HS. She is the daughter of former WTA tennis professional Beth Norton. Ondeck posted a 16-14 record for the Tigers last season as a sophomore. Her 16 wins was the most of any Memphis Lady Tiger last season. She was also second on the team in doubles wins with 16.
What are some of your personal goals going into the season?
"Since we are going to be exposed to more nationally ranked players, I want to be able to beat those players and achieve a national ranking in singles. I also think that Ashley (Murdock) and I have a good chance to earn a national ranking as a doubles team. We competed against some tough teams last weekend at the William & Mary tournament and I thought we competed well.
What are some of your team goals going into the season
"As a team, Coach Walker has definitely put more nationally ranked teams on the schedule, so my team goal for us is to be able to beat some of those teams. I want us to receive some national exposure. Also, I want us to do better in Conference USA. We lost a lot of close matches that I thought we had a chance to win last year. I want us to beat some of the teams in Conference USA that we lost to last year."
What made you choose to come to the University of Memphis from Monroe, Ct.?
"I kind of was looking for a different atmosphere when I was deciding on a college. I really liked Memphis and how different it was from Connecticut. Tennis also really brought me down here. I was offered a scholarship, so I couldn't turn down a great opportunity to come here. I also liked the other girls on the team and their personalities."
What has it been like with Coach Walker on and off of the court?
Your mom played on the professional tennis tour, what did tennis knowledge did you gain growing up around someone who competed against some of the best players in the world?
"My mom did play on the WTA tennis tour and at one time was in the Top-20 in the world. She has played in all of the Grand Slams and has played against Billie Jean King, Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert. She was also No. 5 in juniors worldwide and the No. 1 juniors tennis player in the U.S. She is really the reason that I started playing tennis. She is very knowledgeable about tennis and has taught me a lot of things. We still talk on the phone about a lot of different things dealing with tennis. She was never my coach in juniors growing up because it can be hard to deal with your mom as a coach. She was never pushy about me playing tennis, though, or was she hard on me when I lost a match. She always just taught me that losing was a learning experience. Before I made the decision to play tennis, I was playing soccer and tennis. My mom always said she would support me whether I chose soccer or tennis, even though I think she was always hopeful that I chose tennis."
How have you enjoyed playing for Lee Taylor Walker?
"It has been a really good experience overall. I have really been enjoying it. Lee has a plan in place to make this one of the top tennis programs in the country. I don't think it something that is going to happen necessarily this year or next, but I definitely see this program moving in that direction and I think it will get there down the road. I am slowly starting to see the progress in the program. Other coaches have made the comment to me that they have noticed how much better we are doing."