Feb. 28, 2006
She came to The University of Iowa with an undefeated record in singles play during her high school career. During her first season at Iowa, she posted a 6-1 singles record in the fall and was named the Big Ten Freshmen of the Year in the spring.
Now entering the spring of her junior year, Meg Racette is continuing to dominate the competition with determination and ability.
"She's an outstanding player. And a very fierce competitor," said Head Coach Daryl Greenan. "I always say that she has the gift of natural talent, and that's the key."
Using that natural gift is something Racette has always done. While playing for Urbandale High School, she was a four-year state champion, ranked as high as 10th in the nation.
Her first year with the Hawkeyes (2003-2004 season) was a growing period. After posting a team best record in the fall, Racette continued to improve. In addition to a 13-10 record in singles competition, she recorded a 13-10 record in doubles play, defeating many ranked opponents on the way to being ranked 51st in the nation.
She encountered similar success during her sophomore campaign while continuing to beat ranked opponents. After teaming up with Hillary Mintz in doubles, Racette ended the fall season ranked 23rd in doubles play.
"I think I've improved a lot since I was a freshman. My first year here was a learning experience. I was just getting used to the atmosphere and the environment. My sophomore year was the same, just getting used to the environment," she said.
Now that she is accustomed to college life, Racette is on her way to what will hopefully be an amazing season. During the fall she recorded seven wins, five of which were against ranked opponents. She entered spring competition ranked 21st in the FILA Collegiate Tennis Rankings.
Coach Greenan couldn't be happier with how her season is progressing.
"She was close last year. She had so many near misses against ranked opponents. I think more focused this year and seems more determined to get over the hump with wins over ranked opponents," he said.
While the spring season is just under way, Racette has built off her success from the fall to compile an impressive beginning to the season. She has already been named Big Ten Player of the Week and is currently ranked 39th .
Despite the early success, Greenan wants to make sure she stays focused.
"She's had a good start this spring. Her two biggest wins have occurred this spring, so in a way, she is already backing her success from last fall. She needs to stay focused and not get distracted by rankings," he said.
Whatever happen the rest of this season, Greenan is excited about what the future holds. "She really is a team player. She really doesn't like the spotlight on her, which is another thing she brings to the team. She's such a great team player. She has a chance to become the first Iowa player to be invited to the NCAA individual tournament. I'd like to see her maintain her level. If she does, she has a chance to get invited to California for nationals," he said.
While some athletes would be thinking about rankings and individual success, Racette is focusing on the important things.
"As a team, I'm really proud of how well we've done in the Big Ten. Individually, I'm really proud of what's happened so far this year," she said.
"I just want to go out and have fun each match. And, hopefully we'll continue to grow as a team."
The Hawkeyes are back on the courts this Sunday (Mar. 5th) at Drake. Their first home match is April 1 against Michigan State.