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April 2, 2015

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Junior Skylar Morton is in her first season at Virginia after competing for two years at UCLA from 2011-13. Morton has posted 20-11 singles record, including an 11-5 dual mark for the Cavaliers this season. Morton and freshman Cassie Mercer were ranked as high as No. 11 in doubles this season.

Morton recently visited with VirginiaSports.com to about her first season at Virginia.

Q: How would you evaluate the team’s play this season?
Skylar Morton: “There have been tough parts. We have had some losses. But overall, we are a good team and have great players. We can build upon what we have accomplished so far and have a lot of the season left with the ACC and NCAA tournaments coming up.”

Q: What do you think is the strength of the team?
SM: “We have five juniors and there is great leadership and experience among our class. I think that is a big strength for our team this season.”

Q: How does your game fit into the team’s lineup?
SM: “I fit really well into the lineup. In doubles, coach Guilbeau is able to mix people around. In singles, I have been playing pretty well in my spot.”

Q: What the strength of your game?
SM: “My serve and my forehand are my two biggest strengths.”

Q: How were you able to stay sharp during the time off last year?
SM: “I practiced a lot on my own at my academy, Tennis Center at College Park (Md). I worked on my fitness as well. I also took some classes to stay caught up with schoolwork and my academics.”

Q: Were you able to play in tournaments on your own?
SM: “I did not play a lot actually. I was able to play in a U.S. Open qualifier, but that was it. “

Q: How was the transition back into college tennis this fall?
SM: “I love playing college tennis and playing for someone else, beside just yourself. It was not hard to get back into the team setting, especially since I have had two years playing at UCLA.”

Q: How would you compare your two schools, UCLA and UVa?
SM: “They are very similar, except for the weather. But academically and tennis-wise, they are both really good programs with great coaches. I like the Grounds here in Charlottesville a lot better.”

Q: What are you studying and do you have a favorite class or professor?
SM: “I am studying media studies and right now I am really enjoying the class “Media and Everyday Life.” The professor has been my favorite so far.”

Q: What are your plans after graduation?
SM: “I want to play professionally after college and see how well I do. That has been my goal for my whole life.”

Q: When did you know you wanted to play college tennis?
SM: “When I was 12 years old. I didn’t know anything about college tennis before than. I thought tennis players were just professionals. That was my goal and still is what I’m working towards.”

Q: Who were your favorite professional tennis players growing up?
SM: “I really liked Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic.”

Q: If you could win one grand slam, which one would it be?
SM: “U.S. Open”

Q: Finally, who is the funniest person on the team?
SM: “Marie Faure is the funniest on the team. And in response to Stephanie Nauta’s comments in last week’s feature; I would agree, I am the best dancer.”

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