Student-Athlete Jeff Legunn ’13 Says Men’s Tennis is Hungry for Success

Jeff Legunn '13 maintains a leadership role on the men's tennis team.

Q&As with outstanding students is an occasional feature of The Wesleyan Connection. This issue we speak with tennis star Jeff Legunn from the Class of 2013.

Q: You have been playing No. 1 singles for Wesleyan since your arrival and you currently have a career record of 33-11.  How do you see your role on the team as a top player and team captain?

A: I believe myself, and the other upperclassmen, all maintain leadership roles.  As the top player, I think I have the ability to set the bar high and hold the other players accountable. We have a talented team this year, but we will need everyone to perform at their best for us to have a successful season in the NESCAC.

Q: There are 11 players on the team this year and seven of them are freshmen. How has such a young team gotten off to a 12-1 start, the best in program history?

A: Our team is young, but hungry for success. The freshmen on our team got the taste of winning college matches early on in the fall, and they all have high goals for the upcoming portion of the season. Having a young team will never be an excuse for us not meeting our goals this spring. The freshmen have high goals, and they have been working hard in practice. I think our success so far can be attributed to the raw talent that the freshmen bring to the table, and the hard work that we put in at practice.

Q: How would you describe Coach Ken Alrutz’s style of preparing the team for a match?

A: This year, Coach Ken Alrutz has emphasized fitness. We have a young team with a lot of raw talent.  However, in the NESCAC, raw talent is not enough to win matches.  The teams that will be successful are the ones that have the talent, but also put in the effort to be in better shape than their competition. To Coach’s credit, Wesleyan men’s tennis has focused on fitness this year, and I think this will make a crucial impact as we head into the most important matches of our season.

Q: What have been the most noteworthy moments for you so far during the 2011-12 campaign?

A: I don’t think I can pinpoint a specific moment this early in the season, but Spring Break was a fairly noteworthy week for me as I pulled out three very close singles matches. My singles matches all came down to the last few points, and I was able to win all of these matches. I think this bodes well for me as I head into the NESCAC schedule. As a team, I think the most noteworthy aspect of our season has been our doubles. In my past two years with Wesleyan tennis, our doubles has been our weakness as a team. I think we have strong doubles this year, and I am excited to see how our teams match up against the stronger teams in the NESCAC.

Q: The team has seven matches left, all against NESCAC rivals. We know how tough it is to play in the NESCAC, the best Division III tennis conference in the nation. Where do you see this team come the end of April?
A: I think the consensus on our team is that we would like to make the NESCAC tournament. I think this is our number one goal for the season, and I believe we can achieve it. To be more a little more specific, the team is confident that we can beat the lower ranked teams in the NESCAC (such as Conn, Colby and Hamilton). The real challenge, which I think we are certainly able to overcome, will be competing and defeating top schools in the NESCAC/nation such as Tufts, Bowdoin and Trinity. I know we are capable of beating quality teams such as these, but we will have to work hard for the remainder of the season to do so.

Q: Are there any personal notes about yourself, the team, or tennis in general you’d like to add?

A: I think Wesleyan tennis is in a position to have a great spring season. I think we have good, realistic goals for this season, and I look forward to competing and trying to achieve these goals. My personal goal is to go undefeated for the rest of the year. Last year I only had two NESCAC losses, to Bowdoin and Williams, and I am hoping to have a better record this year. Furthermore, I would like to be awarded first- or second-team all-NESCAC this year. I think I deserved it last year, so it would be nice to actually get it this year.

Q: What are you majoring in and what are your favorite classes?

A: I am an economics major, and I enjoy quantitative economics courses, and finance related courses. My favorite course right now is Econometrics, and I plan on taking Investment Finance in the fall. I did quantitative research for Professor Hornstein in the economics department last summer. This was a great experience, and allowed me to learn more about the quantitative aspect of economics research.
Q: What are your plans after graduating?
A: Post-Wesleyan, I plan on pursuing a career in either finance, economics, consulting or research. As of now I have made no final decisions, and I am open to try any career. I plan on playing tennis for the rest of my life, and I hope to compete in high-level men’s tournaments in the future.