In the Spotlight: Jillian O'Neill, Hillsborough CC & Cledson Carvalho, Lardeo CC

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ITA: In the Spotlight highlights two players that are currently ranked No. 1 in both the Campbell/ITA JUCO Singles & Doubles Rankings.  Jullian O'Neill is ranked No. 1 nationally for the first time in her college career, while Cledson Carvalho has continued to hold on to his preseason No. 1 ranking.  With each of them snaring up their conference tournaments, these two outstanding players have taken time from their busy schedule to sit in on this week's ITA: In the Spotlight.




Jillian_ONeilJillian O'Neill
is a freshman at Hillsborough Community College (Florida). Her hometown is Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada and she is currently ranked No. 1 in women's singles in the Campbell/ITA National College Rankings and No. 1 in women's doubles with partner, Olivia Howlett.  O'Neill was named this year's FCCAA Player of the Year.

Who is your favorite sports person or team & why?
My favorite sports person would be Andre Agassi because he realized that he had to work really hard on his fitness and the technical aspects of his game to be able to achieve all the success that he's had in his tennis career.

Other than tennis, not many people can beat me at ...
Other than tennis not many people can beat me at bowling.  I always throw the bowling ball down the center.

Road trips with the team are fun because...
Road trips with my team are fun because we get to play different teams and see a lot of interesting places.  I especially enjoy spending time with the girls on my team and staying in a hotel overnight.

What is your favorite memory on the tennis court?
My favorite memory on the tennis court would be playing with my mom and dad.  They always find a way to make me laugh and they bring out the best in me on the court.

How has college tennis challenged you as an athlete?
College tennis has changed me as an athlete because I have to be able to organize my time more efficiently so that I can compete at the level that I am capable of playing and also maintain good grades. 



Carvalho CledsonCledson Carvalho is a freshman at Laredo Community College (Texas).  His hometown is Sao Paulo, Brazil.  He is currently ranked No. 1 in the JUCO Campbell/ITA national men's singles rankings and No. 1 in the men's doubles with partner, Moacir Dos Santos-Filho.  Carvalho was crowned the 2008 ITA Small College Super Bowl Singles and Doubles Champions.

Who is your favorite sports person or team & why?
My favorite sport person is Rafael Nadal.  I like his attitude on the court and the way he plays.  He fights for every point like it is the last; so I admire him and try to play like him on the court. Another idol for me is
Gustavo Kuerten because he did a lot for tennis in Brazil.

Other than tennis, not many people can beat me at ...
Not many people can beat me at soccer.  I used to play a lot when I was little so I have some skills playing soccer as well.

Road trips with the team are fun because...
Every trip is a blast for me.  We have a very united team and everybody is like a family.  Every trip is fun because we joke around with each other and we spend a lot of time together which makes us a more united team. 

What is your favorite memory on the tennis court?
My favorite memory on the tennis court was when I won my first professional doubles tournament.  It was a special moment because I was in Brazil with my family and friends.  It was also special because we saved 3 match points during the match.

How has college tennis challenged you as an athlete?

College tennis has challenged me as an athlete by making me play better under pressure.  When I play for my team it is more pressure because I try to think not only of me but of my team as well.  If I lose, it's not just me who loses but the team as well.

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