Zack Lambiase is a senior on the Metamora tennis team. He has compiled a 21-6 record, including 18-2 in doubles. He has a win over a two-time state qualifier this season, and had the lead in the school musical, "Fiddler on the Roof."
Journal Star reporter Johnny Campos prompted Lambiase to answer five questions:
1 You opened the season by beating a two-time state qualifier from Ottawa Township. What did that do for your confidence?
"Coach (Kelly) Willard told us to treat that whole day as one long practice session. Knowing that as long as I play well, I can beat someone who has qualified for state is a great confidence booster."
2 Do you still prefer doubles to singles? If so why?
"I prefer doubles. I am more mentally tough in doubles because I know I have a teammate playing the same match that I am. I can’t let emotions get the best of me because I don’t want to let him down. My doubles partner, Keegan DeShon, and I have been good at talking between points and making sure we’re on the same page, both strategically and mentally. I also have a pretty good serve, which allows my partner to be an animal at the net right at the start of the point."
3 About 10 members of the tennis team were in the school musical. Was that a good team-building experience?
"It was a good bonding experience for most of us as friends. I can’t say how much of that transferred into the season, but I know that the memories that were made in the musical brought the people who were in it closer together as friends."
4 Since you had the lead in the musical, and you had some matches during the performances, did that affect your concentration on the court?
"My focus that day was definitely on the performance that night. It was the Saturday show, and most of my friends and family were attending. But as soon as my singles match started rolling, I was completely tuned in on the court. If anything, having the show later that night helped me finish the match in the second set because I knew I had to save as much energy as I could."
5 Has your acting experience come in handy on the tennis court when you are appealing a call by an official?
"I don’t think that my acting experience really does a whole lot for my on the court. There is a certain mental flexibility that is required for acting, because you have to be able to get yourself in the head space of another person to truly play that character. I think having that ability has helped me to be a little tougher mentally than I have been in past years."