Meet the Athletes: Paige Wise


Paige Wise, a freshman business major, received the Conference Carolina’s Women’s Tennis Freshman of the Month Award for February.  

Wise is undefeated, with a 5-0 record at the No. 1 and No. 2 singles positions. She also plays No. 1 doubles with her partner, Hermon Mikael. Wise’s wins helped add to the women’s record of 6-3 overall.  

Wise feels the greatest aids in her success are her strategic planning abilities and the support she receives from her teammates.   

“I feel having fun on the court and enjoying the challenge has helped me the most, where, given the conditions and the other opponents, I have fun coming up with a game plan and strategy to help give me the competitive edge over the other player,” Wise said. “I also love engaging with my teammates during the match to help get rid of some of the nerves I have, laughing and just having fun.”   

Wise also attributes much of her success to the discipline she has toward her sport.   

“I feel being disciplined and sticking to my routines and training and not getting ahead of myself has helped me stay grounded and keep with what’s working for me,” Wise said.  

Wise is big on family, and as a native of Ballito, South Africa, communication with her relatives is challenging at times. However, no matter where they are, there is always one thing linking them together: tennis.  

Wise has a younger sister, Anna, who shares her love for the game. According to Wise, tennis has been a part of her family since she was young.   

“I started playing tennis when I was around seven or eight because of my mum,” Wise said. “She got a swing ball, and she used to make us play challenges where we could win sweets. From then on, I was hooked.”  

There is a lot of pressure involved with playing #1 singles as a freshman, especially when home is thousands of miles away. Because of this, Wise has some pre-match rituals to help ease some of her nerves and prevent any unwanted mishaps the night before her matches.   

“I like to regrip my rackets the night before a match and sit in the stringing room while my rackets are getting strung so that they don’t break during my match,” Wise said.  

On top of being the conference Freshman of the Month, Wise also received the McDonald’s athlete of the week award for the week of Feb. 28. She said one of her role models is professional tennis player, Rafael Nadal, who recently won the Australian Open, becoming the first tennis player to win 21 grand slam titles.    

“Rafael Nadal has to be the greatest player of all time,” Wise said. “Having won 11 French Open titles and still competing to date, and winning as well, is unbelievable.”  

The women’s tennis team has just started conference play, winning their opener against Chowan University on Saturday, March 19. Wise said she is very excited for her upcoming matches, especially against last year’s conference champions, Erskine College.   

“I am hoping to win all my matches this season, and I am excited to play Erskine on Friday, as they won the conference last year,” Wise said.  

FMU fans can watch the women’s tennis team face Erskine College on March 25 at the John Kassab tennis courts, located directly behind the Smith University Center. Play will start at 2:30 p.m.