Freshmen Athlete’s Opinions

Jenna Smith (

The Grizzly asked Freshmen student athletes their opinions regarding their season and how they are adapting to the college athlete life. Freshmen players were asked how their season has been so far, how they are balancing their social and academic life amongst sports, and how the transition to college athlete life has been. We were interested in gauging where freshmen are at, since the semester is almost half over already!

“For tennis, our season mostly takes place in the spring so it has not been too straining. For the most part it has made the college transition as a whole feel a little more normal” -Fiona Finnerty ‘26 Tennis

“The transition from high school to college athlete has been different. Balancing being a college student athlete versus a high school student athlete has been a change and I knew that coming in. Over the summer I worked hard on preparing myself for the switch to make it easier. I love the difference in pace and the atmosphere it brings. It isn’t easy but I have the best support system behind me starting with my coach!” -Noelle Smits ‘26 Volleyball

“College classes are definitely a huge step up from high school. I am managing soccer and academics well, however, it leaves me with little to no social life if I wish to keep my grades up.” -Sophia Lutz ‘26 Softball

“Transitioning into life at Ursinus has been a bit tricky but being on a team here has helped me so much. Volleyball gives me an outlet when I’m stressed about my schoolwork or my social life and also great teammates who I can always count on to keep me accountable in everything I do. So far, I am loving my experience here and I can’t wait to see what the rest of the semester has to offer!” -Erin Dychdala ‘26 Volleyball

“My seasons have been good so far! I mostly have cheer practices and track lifts early morning before any classes so it’s quite easy to do those without any interference of academics or social life.” -Trinity Hardy ‘26 Track & Cheer

“The transition from high school to college athletics has been amazing. Everyone on the women’s and men’s team has been super helpful and easy to talk to. It has been a good amount more challenging play but in a way that I can progress on my tennis skills” -Fiona Finnerty ‘26 Tennis

“Being a college athlete is a lot different from being a high school athlete. It is more time commitment and more challenging but I enjoy it even more! I have found that I am able to connect with my team more because we are together more often and I am able to enjoy the sport more because I am able to dedicate more time to it!” -Zoe George ‘26 Volleyball

“The transition from college and high school athletes has been very good so far, it hasn’t been too stressful, but I have found that the lack of organized structure of time in the days for specific classes and such both helpful, but I also find myself struggling to figure out when to do what work to make everything most effective. However, doing the sports I did in high school in college does help with the overall transition because it brings the familiarity and routine with it.” -Trinity Hardy ‘26 Track & Cheer

“So far, our season has been amazing. I have never played on a team who has loved each other and have had such a strong culture. It makes playing the game so much more fun. Everyone is so intense and ready to get better every day we step in the gym. I knew there was something different about this team before I even came here, and they truly have proved it.” -Noelle Smits ‘26 Volleyball

“My first volleyball season as a Ursinus Bear has been amazing! I love my teammates and coaches so much which makes playing so enjoyable for me. They are like my family and I wouldn’t have it any other way! It has been a difficult transition in the beginning to balance academics, athletics, and social life but I am now in a nice balance of everything with being in college for over a month.” -Zoe George ‘26 Volleyball

“Stressing over today won’t make tomorrow any easier. Take a breath, laugh it off, and keep on rolling.” -Grace Maccarelli ‘26 Tennis