Gould Reflects On Team Chemistry, How it Will Benefit Big Red
Before Elizabeth Gould took her official visit at Nebraska, she had visited four other campuses and was primarily choosing between two other schools for where she would continue her tennis career in college.
“I think I emailed every school, literally every college in the United States, I emailed their tennis coach,” Gould said. “Nebraska was my last official visit, so I thought I already had my mind up. It was between Auburn and Delaware, so I didn’t really want to come all the way out here, but my parents were like, ‘Just go, you might as well take your last visit.’”
Her parents guided her in the right direction, as Gould felt what many other Nebraska commits felt the first time they stepped on campus.
“It just felt like home,” Gould said. “The team seemed like family. The coaches seemed like they were awesome and willing to help me in everything.
“I knew I wanted a big school from the beginning, but I kind of just wanted to get away and do something different, like see a different side of the country and experience new things, so that’s kind of what drew me here.”
The Atlanta native, who has played tennis since she was 5 years old, said her entire experience at Nebraska ended up being everything she wanted it to be.
“I had no idea what to expect coming into it because I knew no one,” Gould said. “That was just a hard adjustment. But having the team always there for me, it helped a lot. My coaches were awesome, all my teammates were like family to me, so that helped a lot, made it a lot easier. It’s exceeded all my expectations.”
In her first two years at Nebraska, the two-time Georgia State Champion brought in five wins for the Huskers and notched seven more in invitational play this fall. Although one of her personal goals for the season includes breaking into the lineup, Gould knows any role she plays is valuable for the team as a whole.
“Coming into it, I knew it was going to be hard to make the lineup immediately,” Gould said. “[My goal is] each day just still putting in the effort and hoping that those opportunities will come down the road. But even if I’m not playing, still having that role to still support my teammates and motivate them, I think that’s just as important as being on the court, just showing them that you support them.”
Gould’s optimism is a key component to the Huskers’ robust team chemistry and team mentality, which she thinks is in the best shape it’s ever been.
“This year I feel like we’re all a lot closer, which is awesome,” Gould said. “It’s been cool to see [the new players] come in and adjust super well and immediately click in, so that was fun. I’d say the team chemistry since my freshman year compared to now has been the best it’s ever been, which I think is going to help us a lot this season. Just having that tight bond and always supporting each other and motivating each other, it’s just going to help push each other more. ”
A three-year captain of the Marist high school girls’ tennis team, Gould will use her two years of experience at Nebraska to serve as an enthusiastic and encouraging leader this spring. Head Coach Scott Jacobson said he values the strong role Gould plays in maintaining the team’s positive rapport.
“Elizabeth is an incredible young woman who we’ve asked to do more with respect to leadership this season,” Jacobson said. “She’s leading our life skills program and is responsible for coordinating all activities in this area. Elizabeth’s greatest strength on the tennis court is her doubles skills. She’s tremendous at the net, has great instincts and her timing when crossing is impeccable. In addition, she leads by example every day in practice by giving her best effort and maintaining a positive attitude. We are tremendously grateful to have her as a member of our Husker family.”
The Academic All-Big Ten player is an advertising and public relations major and wants to work in sports marketing after her graduation.
Her favorite quote comes from the TV series, “One Tree Hill,” as it states, “The rest of your life is being shaped right now, with the dreams you chase, the choices you make and the person you decide to be. The rest of your life is a long time, and the rest of your life starts now.”
“Since my freshman year of college, this quote has been my favorite, and one that I constantly remind myself to live by,” Gould said. “It motivates me to dream big, make good decisions and be the best person that I can be each and every day.”