Moccia set to leave her mark at WMU

October 14, 2010

By Eric Woodyard
Western Herald

The scholarships for the women’s tennis team had already been awarded when Amanda Moccia enrolled in Western Michigan University during the fall of 2007.

Equipped with two seniors and two juniors, including Moccia’s older sister, Ashley, the roster seemed to be set.

This was until the younger Moccia showcased her skills to the head coach, Betsy Kuhle and the rest was history.

The Livonia, Mich. native was allowed to compete for the Broncos as a walk-on and exceeded all expectations for the 2007-2008 season.

By the end of the year, she was named to the All-MAC Tournament team after going 6-0 in singles, went a perfect 10-0 in MAC regular season and conference tournament singles, and ranked third on the team with 21 overall singles wins. “My first year it felt awesome [because] when you come in, you really don’t know what college tennis is all about and what being a college athlete is all about and how much work you have to put in,” Moccia said.

“It felt great because it’s kind of like you’re reaping all rewards for all your hard work at the end of the year and I think I’m definitely ready to get back to that this year.”

Three years have passed since her freshman year and Moccia is now a senior and the captain of her squad.

She has had a successful career but she hasn’t been able to win another MAC title since that first time.

As her days begin to dwindle down as a student-athlete for the Broncos, her sights are set on matching this achievement.

“For this year, I think the biggest goal for myself always comes in the spring season, which is winning the MAC,” Amanda Moccia said.

“I haven’t done that since I’ve been a freshman so I think it’s about time we do that this year and then that way I go out with a winning year.”

Not only is Moccia content on becoming a champion in her conference, but she also focused on making her teammates better.

Moccia understands that every person learns in a different way.

“It depends on the person how she’s been able to lead,” Kuhle said.

“Some of the younger players she’s really had to befriend a little and some of them I think she’s had to put the hammer down on them so it’s just an individual thing but she’s able to do both.”

Under Moccia’s leadership, WMU has been able to excel. Last weekend at Northwestern University in the Wildcat Invitational, the Broncos compiled 15 combined victories in both singles and doubles.

On the second day, Moccia and sophomore Maggie Remynse won a doubles consolation, 8-3, over Michigan State University.

While her intensity is in full throttle while in competition, she’s able to differentiate the two in her free time.

“I’m a pretty outgoing person. On the tennis court, I’m usually trying to stay level-headed and not be too loud but I think outside of the court I’m pretty outgoing and loud,” Moccia said.

“I kind of take on two different roles as an athlete and as a person so it’s kind of like my alter ego.”

Mastering the ability to differentiate her playtime from when it’s time to be serious is why Moccia has been so successful at WMU.

As Moccia gets prepared to “walk on” away from Kalamazoo, she leaves a mark behind her in Bronco athletics that is rarely accomplished from a “walk-on” who wasn’t even given a scholarship as a freshman at the university.

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