Natalie Pluskota – Lady Vol Tennis 2008-2012

“It’s just a logo.” That’s where people are wrong.  It’s a legacy, it represents of the thousands of women who have put countless hours both on and off their respective playing fields. It represents the countless hours we spent studying in airports, on buses, or sleeping in a chair. It represents every staff member who contributed to making our job possible. Our logo is a legacy, created and molded to create a brand so huge everyone recognizes it when they see it and most importantly want to be apart of…

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When I was nine years old I told my family that I was going win a National Title for the University of Tennessee. I told them I wanted to become a LADY Vol. From that moment, everything in my life was orange and white. Ranging from my clothes, shoes, hats, to wall colors in our house.  It was to become a Lady Vol or nothing in my eyes. I marveled over everything Coach Summitt did for women, even at such a young age, I was memorized by her ways and ability to produce such incredible athletes. But more importantly, students and young women. Signing day could not come fast enough for me, the opportunity to wear the Lady Vol logo was all I ever wanted.

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To represent my University with the Lady Vol logo on my chest was  truly a life changing experience. There is a sense of pride and history when we wear that logo. We seem to walk a littler taller and with a confidence that we can only explain. It turns heads, it creates chatter, and it creates intimidation. I will never forget walking into the weight room for my first time before a cardio workout and reading the sign that hung on the wall which read  “there is no try, only do or do not.” During that moment I realized that we as Lady Vols had a standard to uphold, one that was created by the legends before us. We had to continue to represent our brand better than any other student athlete in the country.

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To this day, as a professional athlete, I walk around covered in Lady Vol gear from head to toe. I am more than proud and honored to be a part of a sisterhood of such stature and will continue to fight to keep our logo, our legacy. Once a Lady Vol, always a Lady Vol. Finally, “it’s NOT just a logo.”

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Natalie Pluskota

4-Time All American

3-Time NCAA Doubles Tournament Semifinalist

2010 NCAA Doubles Tournament Championship Match Finalist

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