Bradley ready to march women’s tennis towards NCAAs

The women’s tennis team has a star ready to explode onto the national scene.

Junior Megan Bradley is back for her second year with the ‘Canes and hopes to push the team even further than their second round exit in the NCAA Regionals a year ago.

“I’m looking at this year as a redemption year,” Bradley said. “Last year I didn’t play as well as I wanted to.”

Although she claims that she didn’t play too well, Bradley is ranked No. 34 in the country in the preseason polls and was named the MVP of the Big East Tournament.

Bradley is also part of the No. 10 doubles team in the country with sophomore Melissa Applebaum.

“It’s great to be ranked where we are,” Bradley said. “Especially since we only started playing together last year. To be this high already is really amazing.”

Growing up in Columbia, Missouri, Bradley was considered the top recruit in the country and chose to attend UCLA. She finished her freshman season at the No. 1 singles position for the Bruins and posted a 30-9 record.

Bradley then chose to transfer to Miami for her sophomore year, earning a 17-9 overall record, including an 11-6 mark in No. 1 singles play.

“I knew [Head Coach] Paige [Yaroshuk],” Bradley said. “I knew she works hard at what she does.”

Like many of her teammates, Bradley’s favorite tennis player is none other than the legendary Pete Sampras.

“I just love how he is such a competitor when he’s out on the court,” Bradley said.

Although thoughts of turning pro have crossed her mind, Bradley has her priorities straight.

“It crosses my mind every now and then especially after a good match,” Bradley said. “But I’m going to finish school before I seriously think about it.”

The women’s tennis team has a very long season, which could be draining to a player who isn’t both mentally and physically prepared.

“Physically, I am always fit for the season because we work out so much and keep in shape,” Bradley said. “Mentally it’s a little tougher because it is such a long season between the fall and the spring.”

As for superstitions, Bradley sticks to the same routines when she’s out on the court.

“When I win a point serving, I like to use the same ball,” Bradley said.

Yaroshuk has not named a captain for this season because she feels everyone contributes equally to the team. However, Bradley hopes that she is looked at as one of the leaders of this experienced team.

This year’s team is ready to compete, as they didn’t lose any singles players from last year. As for overall team goals, Bradley thinks that they’ll be able to improve on last year’s finish.

“We’d like to start where we left off last year,” she said. “Hopefully we can continue building on what we did last year.”

Bradley will begin her fall season at the All-American Tournament in Los Angeles this week.