MEGAN INGRAM OF TEXAS LUTHERAN UNIVERSITY, a senior on the Bulldogs' women's tennis team, has been selected as the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Character and Community Female Student-Athlete of the Week for the week beginning February 5, 2018.
The SCAC honors the efforts of student-athletes who excel in the field of athletics while also serving their campus and community.
Ingram has battled to stay on the tennis court despite an injury that could have derailed her collegiate tennis plans. A women’s tennis team captain, Ingram has played all four years for the Bulldogs.
“I went to physical therapy for (the injury), and they diagnosed it as a bicep tendon tear,” said Ingram. “But I don’t think that was it. Because after I finished physical therapy, I played tennis for a while, and the injury came back.”
“So I thought I was going to quit, but Coach (Michael Hunt) said, ‘Let’s try something. What do we have to lose?’”
So Hunt and Ingram set out to completely change Ingram’s serving motion. But even more than just changing the serving motion, Ingram transitioned from serving right-handed to serving left-handed.”
“Sometimes (opponents) are confused by it, and they ask me why I am serving left-handed,” said Ingram. “I think it kind of throws them off a bit before they kind of get used to it. People get confused pretty easily.”
Ingram continues to hit her forehand from the right side.
“Sometimes volleying can give me trouble,” said Ingram. “For overheads, I do a swinging overhead, not an actual overhead. But that’s it. That’s all I’ve changed really.”
Ingram made the switch to hitting her serve left-handed during the Christmas break of her sophomore year (right before the 2016 spring season), and she has continued the left-handed serving to this day.
“In my twenty years of coaching, I’ve never coached, or even known, anyone who was able to change from serving with one hand to the other,” said Hunt. “It took a lot of determination and hard work on Megan’s part and was one of the most significant tennis accomplishments I’ve ever seen.”
“But she was faced with giving up tennis or taking on this challenge, and she wasn’t ready to stop playing tennis. Megan’s a remarkable person, and this was a remarkable accomplishment.”
Ingram has played in the top-six of TLU’s singles lineup and in the top three of the Bulldogs’ doubles lineup in each of her four seasons. She holds an overall singles record of 38-31 and an overall doubles mark of 20-26. This year so far, she has a singles record of 3-4 with a doubles mark of 5-2.
An Intercollegiate Tennis Association Scholar-Athlete honoree for three years, Ingram is a strong candidate for a fourth ITA academic award this year. She will also be a nominee for CoSIDA Academic All-District and All-America honors. She has been named to the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Academic Honor Roll three times.
Ingram will graduate from TLU in May. She has been accepted to the physical therapy program at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.
Ingram’s time at TLU also has included community service work alongside her TLU Tennis teammates during the university’s two annual community-wide service days. She has also been active in the TLU art scene as an art minor.