COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Each week during the 2013-14 season a Maryland student-athlete, who has shown excellence on and off the playing field, will be selected as the Solomon Eye Associates Terp of the Week. This week's Solomon Eye Associates Terp of the Week is Welma Luus. The senior tennis player led the Terps to dominant wins over George Washington and Richmond.
By: Taylor Smyth - Maryland Media Relations Student Assistant
The celebration was not just about the point won, but also served as a marker of her successful journey back from a year and a half lost due to a shoulder injury.
“Before the matches, I don’t usually get nervous, but I was a little nervous,” Luus said. “It was my first time playing for a year and a half so you just don’t know what’s going to happen because you’ve played practice matches, but it’s just not the same.”
Even with the rust, Luus didn’t miss a beat in the Terps’ opening weekend. The senior won both of her singles matches, including a comeback win over Richmond’s Anna Abadias.
In the Terps’ victory over the Spiders last season, Luus was giving advice from the sidelines. She played a valuable role throughout the year as a volunteer assistant coach, helping her young teammate’s transition into college tennis.
Now as an active player, the native of South Africa is excited to lead not just with her words, but also by her play on the court.
“It’s a position that I like to be in. I think it’s good for me. The sophomores have been stepping up, so that helps a lot. It’s just leading by example and being there for the younger girls because they’re still adapting.”
Luus will still be heard however. The senior plays with a fiery demeanor on the court, showing her emotions after good and bad patches of play.
“It’s always the way I’ve played,” Luus said. “It goes both ways. Sometimes I stay positive and sometimes I get down on myself. We like the positive energy, so that’s what we’ve been working on.”
Some of that positive energy comes from Luus’ time with the Maryland field hockey team during the fall. A decorated junior player in South Africa, Luus finally suited up for head coach Missy Meharg’s squad this season, notching nine points for a team that reached the NCAA Final Four.
“There’s a lot of things I can bring from there to here. Obviously, field hockey is a great program and we’re still building to be a program like that. It’s been a good thing for all of our girls to see that and be a part of that.”
With the season just started, Luus hopes that some of that building can come this year. As the only upperclassman on a team filled with youth, Luus is ready to do whatever it takes to point Terp tennis in the right direction.
“I do what needs to be done on the court. Sometimes I play more aggressively or I’ll get the ball in the court and make my opponent play. It just depends on the day.“