How have you transformed as a softball player over the past four years? Thea: "The biggest change for me has been my attitude. When I came in as a freshman, I was very serious and uptight. As I went on, I realized I needed to have fun. Softball is a game I enjoy and love to play, and it's important to have fun with it because after college that chapter of my life will be over. My senior year of softball has just begun and it's exciting because we are 5-0 right now. It already feels like the most fun season yet."
How have you managed to balance life as a student and a Division I athlete here at Pitt? Thea: "Time management. Time management."
"I have learning disabilities so when I came in as a freshman it was a very hard adjustment from high school to college. I worked hard, completed my study hours and took advantage of the tutors. I was able to find my niche of what classes I enjoyed. I learned to adapt on the road and the seniors helped out the younger girls on the team. Now, I have a better GPA and I'm moving on to great things. Whether you have a learning disability, or you're having trouble adjusting you can find a way to get good grades. Pitt has the resources and your teammates will help you along the way. As a student-athlete, you're here to get a good education and win for your school."
It's only the beginning of your final season, but name your best Pitt Softball memory? Thea: "It came this past Sunday when we were losing to a team that we had recently crushed. I believe we were down about 6-1. We found a way to come back at the bottom of the seventh. I was a third, we had someone on second and a freshman was up to bat. She hit a fly ball and I tagged up and then scored. We came back and won the game. Everyone charged the field and we were all jumping up and down screaming. It was an amazing feeling that will stick out in my mind for a very long time. I'm sure I've had those moments in the past, but right now that memory is fresh in my mind. It was both amazing and so much fun. It was crazy."
Do you have any advice to the next group of incoming student-athletes? Thea: "One piece of advice I would give to those starting out is to just enjoy the ride. There will times when you are stressed to the max, you are going to be tired and you won't get back from a trip until 2 a.m., but remember it's all a part of the journey. You will have so much fun and you're going to remember your teammates forever. It's an experience that not many people have so enjoy it, because it will go so fast."
How have you changed as a wrestler throughout
your time here at Pitt? Thomusseit: "As a freshman, I remember being nervous. I come
from a small town so Pittsburgh was a big city to me. To be honest, it was a
bit a culture shock. I was extremely nervous even though I had an older brother
at Pitt here with me. I quickly learned confidence is the key to winning. I did
not have the confidence when I first came to Pitt. Now, when I go into a match,
I expect to win. As a freshman you are a little timid, because it's a big jump
from high school wrestling to college wrestling. If you can overcome that and
gain some confidence in the process - it will help you become a better
"Coach Peters is not only a great coach from technical aspects, but he
also focuses on the individual person. He helps you not only achieve on the
mat, but off the mat. Coach Peters has helped me become the person I am today.
"After five years of being here - you learn so much throughout the process
without even realizing it. When I look back now, I really can see how far
I have come."
How have you managed to balance life as a student and a Division I wrestler
here at Pitt? Thomusseit: "It's difficult to be a student and an athlete,
but it's also very doable. I was lucky enough to get five years at Pitt and
spread out my education. I also stayed over the summer to take classes. I never
had an overload of credits so that definitely helped. The academics comes with
being a division I athlete and if you want to do it then you have to commit
It's your final year and you have experience a lot of great success on the
mat, but name your best moment as a Pitt wrestler?
Thomusseit: "Definitely winning the first ACC championship is
going to stick out the most, because it was a whole team effort. It shows the
hard work paid off and the coaches are doing good things here at Pitt. The
wrestling program is being run the right way and we are heading in the right
Although, I may be getting ahead of myself, I haven't had success at Nationals
so if I could do that this year for myself, the coaches and for Pitt that would
mean a lot. Pitt has done so much for me, and I have always wanted to give
something back such as winning a national title for Pittsburgh. It's very
possible that my favorite moment has not happened yet.
How have you changed as a tennis player throughout your time at Pitt?
Amanda: "I have grown a lot since freshman year. Although we had different coaches, I improved my game tremendously over the years. I am also more vocal and a better leader on the
court compared to how I was freshman year."
What has it been like to attend school and play on the same team as your twin sister, Molly? Amanda: "I'm really glad I went to Pitt with my sister. We are both very competitive, but we also push each other to become better. It's great to have my sister on
the same team and also my best friend.
"We are very close to the same level in tennis, but we are still competitive in
anything we do, whether it's tennis or in school. We both work to do better than
How has Coach Santos helped you become a better player?
Amanda: "Coach has guided me to become an overall better tennis player. He's taught me to become more aggressive and come to the net more. He also taught me how to utilize my
strengths, and I'm a much stronger player for it."
How have you managed to be both a successful student and Division I athlete? Amanda: "Now that I'm a senior, I have learned to manage my time a lot better. You learn
to study whenever you have that free time and prepare for tests way in advance.
Overall, it's all about learning time management skills in order to balance life as
Name your best moment at Pitt? Amanda: "I remember sophomore year, I beat Rutgers in the final match, and it was the
first time we ever beat them in Pitt history. It was a really cool experience
How have you changed as a tennis player throughout your time at Pitt?
Molly: "As a freshman, I was a little bit more nervous but after playing in more matches and gaining competition experience, I have learned to go all out in every single match." Your twin sister, Amanda, mentioned you two share a competitive relationship on the court. What has it been like to attend school and play on the same team as Amanda?
Molly: "It's all healthy competition between my sister and I, because we push each other throughout the year. We would not be where we are today if we did not have each other on and off the court. The two of us are always in competition whether it's running, lifting, etc. because we always want to outperform one another." How have you managed to be both a successful student and Division I athlete? Molly: "It's been tough to manage the life of a student-athlete, because going back and forth plus practicing can take about five hours out of your day. I learned to keep a tight schedule and make sure I know when I'll be studying and when I'll be practicing. The Pitt Athletic Department and our team has kept us in line and makes sure we are on top of our classes. Even with finding a job, I kept on top of it, and I already have a job set for after I graduate. I think working hard on the court and academically allowed me to get the job I have now as a treasury analyst for an offshore drilling company in Houston, Texas.
Name your best moment at Pitt? Molly: "Last year, in the ACC tournament, Katherine and I beat Boston College in doubles, or in the beginning of the season when I won my first singles ACC matches against Maryland and Wake Forest. It was very exciting because it was our first year in the ACC. "The ACC is more exciting and we get to play some of the best ranked teams, which pushes us to get better and to work toward becoming one of the top teams in the ACC."
How have you changed as a basketball player throughout your time here at Pitt? McManus: "I can definitely say I've improved conditioning wise since freshman year. I remember struggling during my first summer of Pitt basketball conditioning, but now as a senior I can lead the freshmen through those difficult moments during workouts. Also, I'm stronger on the block. I'm able to go against bigger and stronger opponents. Even though I'm undersized, I've found I can still battle with the competition." As you look back on your journey here at Pitt, what about yourself has surprised you the most? McManus: "As a freshman, I definitely didn't imagine that I would be in the role I am now as a senior captain. I love helping my teammates out and keeping them
encouraged through all the missed shots. "This journey has been amazing, and I would do it all over again. Bri Kiesel and I joke all the time that we have 'started
from the bottom and now we're here'. The two of us came here on our official visit at the same time when we were 17-18 years old, and here we are now at 22 still together on this team. It's been great.
How have you managed to be a successful student and a Division I athlete? McManus: "Over the years, you learn to
really get into the swing of things. The academic center helps a lot, and Jenn (WBB Academic Counselor) has done so much with us whether it's scheduling classes or study hall. Freshman year was definitely an adjustment - I'm not going to lie about that, but I was able to finish my first degree in three years. Now I'm finishing my second degree as a senior. I've really been able to take advantage of what Pitt provides student-athletes, and I've used the resources to achieve my