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April 23, 2015

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Junior Maci Epstein (Winter Park, Fla.) has a 16-5 dual match singles record this season and is 8-2 in her last ten matches. Epstein is known for her overpowering forehand and has been an anchor in the Virginia lineup for the past two seasons. She sat down with to discuss her recent success and the upcoming ACC Championships.

Q: Now in your third year at Virginia, how has your experience helped you this season?
Maci Epstein: “My experience has played a lot in my success this season. Having already played certain opponents and getting to face them a second or third time has been an advantage. Experience has also helped me to understand the game and strategies a lot better.” 

Q: You have played with four different doubles partners this season; how have you developed chemistry with each teammate?
ME: “It has not been ideal, but it has been fun playing with different partners. Whoever I play with, it doesn’t matter, because we are going to go out there and play hard. We all have partner chemistry and everyone brings something to the table.” 

Q: Heading into the ACC Championships this weekend, are you ready to defend your title?
ME: “We are going to defend what is ours. We were the underdogs last year, and I think that we are still the underdogs this year too. We are going to come out and fight, just like we did last year.” 

Q: Does everyone on your team embrace the ‘underdog’ mentality?
ME: “We have had a challenging season and we know we are not the top-ranked team, and we were on the verge of not being seeded at one point. We all understand our position going into the tournament.” 

Q: Who is the leader of the team this season?
ME: “Definitely Stephanie Nauta. She is our captain, but we also have five 3rd years, so it has been helpful to have a team full of older girls.” 

Q: What were some of your highlights from your junior tennis career?
ME: “Winning the Fed Cup, I was actually on the Florida team with Danielle Collins, which was really exciting. And that was right before Hard Courts, which is one of the big four tournaments on the junior tour. Winning the Florida Open was also a highlight. Also, playing tournaments in the Bahamas and Mexico was fun.” 

Q: You have been able to travel quite a bit for tennis; do you have any future travel plans after this season?
ME: “This summer I am planning on travelling to some tournaments and playing, I am not sure which ones yet. If I could go anywhere, I would like to go overseas, but I am not sure if that is going to happen.” 

Q: What are you studying and do you have any favorite professors?
ME: “I am a sociology and media studies double major. I have enjoyed almost all of my teachers so far.” 

Q: After being injured your 1st year, how have you been able to stay healthy as an upperclassman?
ME: “I have made sure to spend extra time in the gym on my own and to run a couple miles extra each week. As well, I’ve made sure to work with our trainer when I need her.” 

Q: If you could win one Grand Slam, which would it be?
ME: “Wimbledon, wearing my all whites.”

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