July 2, 2004
RALEIGH, N.C. - On March 3rd, NC State bid farewell to Will Roach of the men's basketball team in a pre-game mid-court ceremony at the RBC Center before the final home game of the season against Maryland. Taking part in that ceremony was his sister Julia, who has recently signed on to play tennis for the Pack under Coach Hans Olsen.
No stranger to the Wolfpack family, Roach has followed NC State athletics since Will began playing for Coach Herb Sendek in 2001. Now it's her turn to perform, and she is looking forward to the challenge.
"It was very exciting being around the basketball team over the past few years and watching my brother and the experience that he was having," Roach Said. "This past season was incredible, not only because of the team's success, but because I knew that I was going to be a part of NC State next year."
Last year, Roach met with Coach Hans Olsen and knew immediately that she wanted to join the women's tennis family.
"I talked it over with my high school coach at Broughton and he gave me some advice on what to do," Roach said. "He told me that I should just look for a coach that I thought was a good person and that was someone that I would want to play for. When I first met Coach Olsen I knew that he was that coach. After that, I met with the team and spent the weekend with them. All of the girls were very nice and I got along very well with them. It only took one day for me to realize that NC State was the place for me."
"We are very excited to have Julia on board," said Coach Hans Olsen. "She brings intensity and depth to the program as we continue working towards becoming a national competitor."
One thing that Roach and her teammates already have in common is their excitement about competing in the newly opened J.W. Isenhour Tennis Complex. In addition to being a top-notch facility, the complex also holds sentimental value for Roach.
"It's very special for me to be playing in the new facility because I actually started out playing and hitting around with Mr. Isenhour when I was very young," Roach said. "I am very proud to be playing at a facility named in his honor and I am going to do my best to play well and pay tribute to him for giving me a head-start in tennis."
Upon joining the program in the fall, Roach is determined to make an impact.
"As soon as I get there I plan on working hard and just doing my best at all times," Roach said. "I joined this program because I thought that I could be an asset to the team and I am going to work as hard as possible to help out my coaches and teammates. I would like to be able to compete right away and I feel like I have a shot as long as I stick to my goal of working hard."
In addition to settling into the college experience and learning the ropes of participating in athletics, Roach will also have one semester to spend with her older brother.
"Will is still going to be around in the fall and that is something that I feel really good about," Roach said. "It's great to be able to come to college and have my brother still be there for me. I feel really lucky that he will still be around."
A recent graduate of Broughton High School in Raleigh, N.C., Julia lettered in tennis for four years and graduated with a 3.8 GPA. While at Broughton, she was also very active in the Student and Executive councils. Upon enrolling at NC State in August, Julia will participate in the First Year College program.
Roach and the rest of the women's tennis team have plenty to be excited
about for next season. The squad will return four seniors and all but two
members of last season's roster, in addition to the opening of their brand
new facility. 2005 season play is slated to being next January.