Songs for the Score

Update: Meylor reached the third round in the State tournament on Friday, achieving in the top 16 in the state.

Top-level sports players often use pre game rituals to keep their edge. Nicole Meylor, the number one singles player on girls varsity tennis, is no exception.

As Meylor heads off to Madison for the State tournament she shared some of her secrets.

“I listen to the same playlist. But I am not going to tell you what is on the playlist,” Meylor said. Despite much prodding, Meylor revealed only a single song of the 11 on her playlist — “Roar” by Katy Perry.

Meylor won her match at the sectionals tournament in Oconomowoc on October 9th, ending the day with scores of 6-4, 6-7(2), 10-6. This brought her overall record up to 29-4.

Meylor will complete her season at the State tournament on October 17th, 18th and 19th. She feels that since her first time at State as a tenth grader she is much more prepared.

Even though she is very excited about representing the school as West’s sole team member at the tournament this weekend, she feels the State competition is a very different environment from what she is used to.

“There are a lot of people. It’s overwhelming,” she states, adding, “there is a lot of noise… it’s much more competitive.”

The chaos of the day doesn’t diminish the encouragement and support of the fan base that is going to be there to watch her to play this weekend.

Varsity coach Kosta Zervas will be going to State with Meylor.

“I’m excited to watch her play. She’s had a great season,” said Zervas.

Zervas expects to get nervous watching Meylor play, but also to have fun because “she’s playing good tennis.”

Alicia Picard, a friend of Meylor, is going along for support. Picard also loves watching Meylor play.

“She definitely gives it her all,” Picard said.

Though she’s a fireball on the court, beforehand certain things make her feel very uncomfortable.

” [I] don’t step on the lines on the tennis court [before the game],” said Meylor, giving us another taste of her pre-game must do’s. “When I’m playing, I don’t care.”

Surprisingly, even certain words of encouragement can get on Meylor’s nerves.

When Meyler is out on the court, don’t yell out, “you’ve got this,” Picard said. Meylor hates this.

“I feel it puts more pressure on winning,” Meylor said.

Meylor’s mother has her own traditions to help Meylor succeed.

“Ever since the summer and I’ve been playing USTA tournaments, we have a mantel over our fireplace with these wooden blocks that say ‘Good Luck Nicole’ on them, and my mom refuses to take them down,” Meylor said.

Meylor’s father has his own rituals to help Meylor.

“Before every game he always says the same thing: ‘have fun, play smart, be aggressive,’” said Meylor.

Meylor has obviously taken this advice to heart and will take it with her this weekend as she finishes up her season. Let us just hope those top-secret eleven songs get her geared up. Good Luck, Nicole.