General of the Week: Michelle Fleenor, ’18

Caroline Blackmon, Sports Writer

The Old Dominion Athletic Conference released its 2018 women’s tennis all-conference teams on Monday. It named Michelle Fleenor, ‘18, as the ODAC Player of the Year. According to, Fleenor won first-team laurels after posting a 15-4 overall record in the number one singles spot and was undefeated in ODAC play. She is a three-time All-ODAC honoree and currently ranks third in the Atlanta South region in singles. The Ring-tum Phi talked with Fleenor about ODACs, NCAAs and her teammates.

Ring-tum Phi: How did it feel to win ODACs for the sixteenth year in a row?

Michelle Fleenor: Winning ODACs is always super exciting for our team, we always go into the tournament very confident and ready to play, and so having the satisfaction of winning the conference after all our hard work is such a great boost for our confidence going into NCAAs!

Phi: Why did you decide to play tennis in college?

MF: I decided to play tennis because I met the W&L tennis team on my recruiting trip. I honestly was on the fence about whether or not I should continue playing, but, after seeing how close the team was and how much they loved the sport, it was an easy choice for me to play another four years.

Phi: What are personal strengths you bring to the team?

MF: I think my personal strengths are my ability to encourage my teammates to play their best, and also my competitiveness on court.

Phi: What are weaknesses you continually work on?

MF: My weakness has always been my focus on court throughout an entire match. Oftentimes I find myself not entirely engaged in the match while watching my teammates play, so I have to motivate myself to refocus on my match at hand.

Phi: Why do you think the women’s tennis team is so consistently strong?

MF: Not only are we great players, but we’re also an insanely cohesive unit. We’re all close friends on the team and having such a small squad enforces a closeness between each player. We all know each other so well and support each other to the fullest.

Phi: What is your favorite part of playing tennis at W&L?

MF: Just being able to spend three hours a day with my best friends is my favorite part!

Phi: How is being a student-athlete for you? How do you manage your time?

MF: Obviously being a student athlete is difficult at times with our heavy workloads, but just like any other student with plenty on their plate, we learn to manage time and put our schoolwork first.

Phi: What is the most exciting part of each practice?

MF: The beginning of practice is always fun while we’re warming up all together, chatting about our days or what we have coming up in our respective lives.

Phi: Why do you like competing?

MF: I like competing because it provides me with a specific goal to achieve. I know exactly what I am supposed to do in a match, and by competing hard and trying my best, I can accomplish that goal.