Eagle Spotlight of the Week: Christine Caforio and Melanie Rolle
In continuation of the Eagle Spotlight of the Week, the Athletics Media Relations staff took a different approach and sat down with the doubles tandem of Christine Caforio and Melanie Rolle from the Georgia Southern women’s tennis team. The tandem has starred from the No. 2 position the entire year.
So tell me how you’re season is going thus far?
Christine Caforio: I think Melanie and I compete very well against everybody that we play. We should pull out a few more wins than we have, but the more matches we play together, the better we get each time.
Melanie Rolle: I don’t think it is going as well as we would both like in the win aspect of it. But we work hard every match and work to win.
Christine Caforio: We work really well together.
In your personal opinion, compare the singles game to the doubles game.
CC: Total 360. [Laughs] In doubles our main goal is to get into the net, which is our strong point. In doubles you also have someone to rely on whereas in singles, it’s more just yourself.
MR: I think that doubles is a bit more precise and slightly more analytical. In doubles you have to be able to hit a shot in the correct spot. There is no room for error in doubles because if you mishit a ball, that’s the end of the point. The points are a lot quicker. You don’t have to have as much stamina as you do in singles because if you set it up right, you win the point, if you set it up wrong, you lose the point. So it’s different in that aspect for me.
If you drop your doubles match, how do you recompose yourself to get ready for singles?
CC: Well, it’s really two different games. So usually, even if we lose the doubles as a team, you forget about what you did and remember the things you did well and can carry on to your singles match. And it is a completely different match where you are possibly playing someone different than you played in doubles, so you have to focus on your strengths and play that way.
MR: For me, if we drop the doubles match than we talk about it for a little bit and you forget about it because if you go into your singles match thinking about that one loss than it is going to affect the way you play. And for me, doubles and singles are completely separate so if you lose one it doesn’t have a foreshadowing look on the others.
Can you tell me what the strong suit of each other’s game is? (ie Christine, what is Melanie’s strong suit and Melanie, vice versa)
CC: I think Melanie’s strong suit is that she is really good at setting me up. Like if I’m at the net and she’s at the baseline, she’s really good at hitting deep shots to get the opponent back and getting me an easy shot to poach on. And she’s always really good at pumping me up and keeping a positive attitude.
MR: I think Christine’s strong point is really looking for that ball to poach. She has a good eye looking for that ball that is good to poach on. Usually when she goes for it, she goes for it. And that’s a good quality to have in doubles play.
How do you feed off each other in a match?
CC: I feed off Melanie 300 times more than she feeds off me. [Laughs] Melanie is a very energetic and pumped up person. She is a really good person to play doubles with because if I miss a shot, Melanie picks me right back up. And when we are both pumped up, we can play so well together.
MR: I feel that whenever Christine gets a second serve ace, because she tends to do that a lot, that really pumps me up. Whenever she hits one of those really good shots that she often hits, it’s really easy for me to feed off that and hit another one just like it.
What do you like most about the doubles game?
CC: Well volleys are one of the best parts of my game, so I just love being up at the net. And I love competing against people. Melanie and I always have a goal at the beginning of our match and we just have fun which makes playing together even more fun.
MR: My favorite part of playing doubles for me is probably playing as a team, playing with a partner. Growing up playing tennis, you don’t really play doubles. Each tennis player grows up playing their own game which is usually singles; you might play doubles for recreational fun. It’s just something that you don’t get to do, so it’s fun when you get to mesh your game with someone else’s and collaborate to get a win.
What are some of the goals that you set before a match?
CC: Like if we win this match, we’ll go get ice cream. [Laughs]
MR: [Laughing] Or we have superstitions and we have sayings. We can have a goal that has no meaning or no substance at all, but it’s a goal, like going to get ice cream.
CC: And we have inside jokes from the team and stuff or funny ways to do fist pumps. And we always have to slap each other’s hand, but half the time, we’ll miss. I think it’s more for us to relax.
What are your superstitions as a doubles team?
CC: I don’t serve in the sun and Melanie always serves first.
MR: Yea, Christine doesn’t like to serve in the sun, and I always serve first. So we have a strategy to winning the toss.
CC: I don’t talk either, Melanie does all the talking.
MR: Yea, Christine doesn’t do any of the talking. So when she flips the coin, I always call the coin toss and if we win, I always choose to serve. And we pray that the other team picks the right side. We really like to lose the toss, that’s like the best option. So usually we try to lose the toss, the other team chooses to serve and then we choose the side so that...
CC: ...I don’t have to serve in the sun! [Laughing]
MR: We also have to sit at the same bench and put our bags in the same position.
CC: I always sit on the right side and Melanie always sits on the left.
What has been the best part/moment of playing together this year?
CC: I’d say that even though we didn’t come out with a win, the best we’ve ever played was at Furman. We definitely gave them the biggest run for their money and that was the longest doubles match we’ve ever played. We did make a lot of mistakes at the end, which is probably why we ended up dropping the match, but we went out there with a mindset that it didn’t matter who we were playing and that we could win.
MR: I hate that that match wasn’t a win because it could have been and in my mind, it should have been a win. But even though it wasn’t a win for us it doesn’t change the fact that we played really, really well. And it should be a match that we remember because we did a lot of good things. We should remember that we can play like that in all of our matches, not just that one.
- Category: Women's Tennis
- Published on Monday, 13 April 2009 11:04