Student Athlete of the Week: Jacob Macri

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This week the Beacon focuses the spotlight on junior Jacob Macri. From the time he first stepped foot on Bethel College as a freshman, Macri has garnered attention around the conference and the NCCAA. His first season as a Pilot, he was named Crossroads League Men’s Tennis Player of the Week once and NCCAA North Central All-Region for the season. His sophomore season saw an improvement in his singles record: from 7-11 to 12-6, and he earned his first NCCAA All-American bid. This season, Macri has already posted a record of 8-5 in singles and 7-7 in doubles, earning NCCAA Student-Athlete of the Week two separate times. Macri values consistency, which has boosted the team’s success this season.

  Q: What has made this season of tennis different from previous ones? A: First, we made the conference tournament for the first time since I’ve been here -- the first time in five years -- so the team’s success overall has been good. Also, personally, I made a lot of good friendships with people on both teams. The girls and guys tennis teams have been closer in general. Q: When did you first pick up the game of tennis? A: When I was 7 years old. I watched my older brother play, he took a couple of lessons, and I thought it looked fun. I started playing and the rest was history. Q: Who do you look to for advice on the game? A: In my matches, I look to my [head] coach, Joel Dendiu. He’s a really good player and knows the technical aspects of the game very well. He helps me specifically in singles. For doubles, my doubles partner, Jose Morales. We both give each other advice because we compete together. Q: Why have you stuck with tennis after all these years? A: For one, I love it. I get up in the morning and look forward to playing. It’s also good for me physically, because the game keeps me in shape. Mentally, because I’m the only one on the court. Q: What are some of your tennis philosophies? A: My style of playing the game is about consistency. What I try to do is to get to every ball and make the opponent hit one more shot. Even if it’s an easy shot, because I want them to earn the point. Also, the net is my first opponent. Never give up mentally, because if I’m not in it mentally, I could lose so many points. It’s tough to come back from a deficit when you don’t believe you can do it. Q: Where on the court was the closest “out” call you’ve ever seen? A: Last year, I had a match against St. Joseph County Methodist and in doubles, there’s this one guy who’s bad at calling. There were some close [calls] that I didn’t really question. Then, in singles, he did the same thing and there was one [ball] that was completely in by at least two feet. He called it out. Q: How did you deal with it? A: I’m usually calm on the court, but I was visibly upset. I confronted him and he denied it, so I had to call over a line judge who overturned his call. The judge had to overturn three of his calls. [My opponent] was clearly trying to win some free points. Despite the 5-9 record thus far, Macri looks to bring better success for his team on the court this spring. The Bethel Beacon would like to wish Macri and his teammates the best of luck in their efforts. The team will begin its last six regular season matches on March 22.  
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