By Eric Coburn ’18 and Kelley McLellan ’17
Sports Editor and Associate Sports Editor
For the third straight season, junior Grace Messina has been recognized as the Vern Cox NE-10 Player of the Year. This star athlete came all the way from Caracas, Venezuela, following her sister, Shakee, who graduated from Merrimack in May of 2015. Messina is studying International Business and Marketing. She is currently 36-0 in singles matches during her time here at Merrimack College. With two different partners this season she has remained undefeated in the No. 1 doubles.
The Beacon sat down with the three time NE-10 Player of the Year to get to know her off the court.
How long have you been playing tennis for? How did you get started?
I have been playing tennis since I was 8 years old, so about 12 years now. I started playing thanks to my sister. At first I did not like it at all and then I saw her playing and she gave me the chance to try it and I started liking it.
How did you choose to come to Merrimack?
Merrimack was one of my top choices, but what helped me to make my decision was because my sister Shakee Messina was already attending Merrimack College. Also my coach talked to me about all the good things at Merrimack.
If you could bring one thing from home to school what would it be?
I really miss my home (Venezuela) and if I could bring back one thing from there, with no doubt I would bring my family. Family means everything to me; they are always supporting me in the good and bad times. I miss them so much.
What is one thing you wish you knew before going into college that you know now?
I wish I knew that this was going to pass so fast; I still cannot believe this is my junior year. I remember when I was going to start at Merrimack College and how nervous I was about everything.
What is your dream job?
My dream job is to be in an office working for a big company and just being happy with what I am doing.
If you had to survive off of one food for the rest of your life what would it be?
I would choose to live off of the most famous plate from back home. It is called “pabellon criollo”. That includes beans, rice, meatloaf and banana.
If you had the chance to do over a moment in your athletic career what would it be?
I would do over my first day of a tennis lesson. I had no idea what I was doing and my coach was trying his best. The best part is that I was having so much fun!
If you could have been in any movie what would that movie be?
I would definitely like to be in a Disney movie. I don’t have a specific one but I just like everything that has to do with fantasy.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
In 10 years I see myself hopefully married and maybe with kids, working.
What do you want to accomplish before you graduate at Merrimack?
I want to have a lot of work experience before graduating because that way I know I will have better opportunity of finding a job.
If you won a million dollars, what would you do with the money?
With no doubt I would help the poor people, I will give them food and a home.
What is your favorite childhood memory?
My favorite childhood memory is when my father had to wake me up to go to school and every single morning I would pretend I am still sleeping so he would tickle me until I cry laughing.