March 1, 2013
By Meghan Jordan
Athletics Communications Student Assistant
Tess Alekna hails from Boston, Mass., an economics major and senior defender on the lacrosse team. Alekna shares her excitement as the 2013 season approaches, discussing team goals, the sport, and their new coaching staff.
How long have you been playing lacrosse?
I've been playing lacrosse since I was in seventh grade. I've always played soccer and ice hockey, and then lacrosse started getting popular, so I decided to try it in middle school and then got really serious about it in high school.
Lacrosse is probably the fastest growing sport in America right now. It's really popular on the east coast but it's growing out her on the west coast. I always knew I would play a sport in college.
As an out-of-stater, why did you come to UC Davis?
I decided to come to UC Davis because I fell in love with this school, the campus, and the team at the time. A lot of people here think it's funny I'm from the east coast, the majority of people here are in-state, some people think I have an accent, I don't think I do. At least 50% of our team is out of state.
What's the new coaching staff like?
Our new coaching staff is amazing, it's changing the program. Here at UC Davis we're trying to change the athletics and we're definitely taking a step forward. I think the women's lacrosse team is going to be one of the first step up and change this program. Our coaches are definitely the reason for that. They bring positivity every day. They're making us not only better players, but better people.
This is your fourth year in the program, what are you going to carry from last year to this year?
What keeps you going?
Probably the starting line up and nothing else, we're definitely changing the program. We have a new work ethic, we have new plays, we have new freshman that we're using, we have a lot of new things, and we're really not looking to bring much back.
I'm really passionate about being a teammate. Not only about the sport but being on a team. Being on a team teaches you lots of different things. It teaches you how to be disciplined, have structure in your life, I think that's really important as a division one athlete. It's easy to get distracted in college, but being part of a sport team with so much structure makes you focus.
What are your personal and team goals for the season?
Our team goals are definitely to win MPSF (Mountain Pacific Sports Federation), and to outwork Florida in our first game. My personal goal is to be an all conference defender this year and to have at least three caused turnovers per game.
What's your favorite part of being a defender?
I'm really passionate about being a defender, our D-unit is one of the strongest points of our team. As a D-unit we always play as the team, you can't play as an individual, otherwise we'll never stop a team. I love knowing that being a defender, to my left and to my right there's always someone else there who's working so hard, every single day, to be my help or my slide. Defense wins championships. Our team has a ton of personality on defense, some of our most lively girls are our defenders.
What makes the women's lacrosse team at Davis special?
I think what makes us special is how close we are. Our theme for this year is being "one." I believe we are one unit, we're a family. We all respect each other's differences.
We spend so much time together on and off the field. We socialize together, most of us live together. We basically eat every meal together. Sometimes we have five hours of lacrosse a day together.
Alekna and the Aggies travel to Saint Mary's today (Friday, March 1) for their MPSF opener before taking on first-year program USC Wednesday, March 6 at 6 p.m. for their home opener at Aggie Stadium.