By Ashley Schofield
Game, set, match.
Jenny Tsai’s life can be viewed as one long tennis match,
continually overcoming trials and tribulations, leading to her
current triumph as the number one singles player at Cal Poly. With
an 11-9 record thus far this season, Tsai’s determination and hard
work never falter.
The junior, female Athlete of the Month for two straight months,
is a soft-spoken person with the mental strength necessary to play
a focused game, clear of distractions. She is unassuming; it is
shocking to learn all the victories she has under her belt.
In set one of her life, Tsai began the first game of her
lifelong tennis match with her parents; they took her to the park
on weekends to watch them play. Tennis captured her attention and
she was hooked when she began lessons.
Inspiration is what drove Tsai to advance. At the end of her
senior year of high school, she worked hard to get a college
scholarship and landed one at Cal Poly.
Set two. Tsai became a Bronco and has held quite a record since
she set foot on the Cal Poly courts. She was the number two singles
player last year, expected to rise to number one this year, ranked
fifth in the nation, and eighth in doubles. She also received
All-California Collegiate Athletic Association first-team
As a team captain, Tsai guides her teammates with her dedication
and commitment. She practices everyday for about two hours, even on
weekends. Tennis is her true passion.
“I love the competition; it’s about overcoming hardships,” said
Tsai. “There are not always good days, there are going to be bad
days, and it’s about just continuing to play.”
All competitiveness aside, the tennis team is also a home for
her at Cal Poly. Tsai’s doubles companion Renee Paquillo, along
with her other teammates, work together to lead the Broncos to
“Doubles is fun because it’s not as intense and you get to share
the moment with someone else on the court,” said Tsai.
Tsai is moving onto her senior year in set three of her lifetime
match. A kiniesology student, she fits working in the training room
into her busy schedule. Interested in physical therapy and sports
medicine, Tsai is planning on extending her love for the game into
her professional career.
“Jenny is a wonderful person and a hard worker; she comes in as
much as she can to help out in the training room,” said Ruem
Mallasrn, the Cal Poly director of sports medicine.
Tsai has difficulties with time management, as most college
students do, but she manages to balance her homework and
“I enjoy running for some extra training and playing basketball
in any spare moment I can get,” said Tsai. “I was on the team in
high school, but was too short, so I moved solely to tennis.”
Church is also a major part of Tsai’s life. She dedicates a lot
of her extra time to her faith, which helps her stay calm.
She also coaches private lessons for elementary school children
on the weekends. Currently in her own game, Tsai is training to
keep her singles title next year by fine-tuning the little glitches
in her strokes.
“I am working on consistency and getting the low-percentage
shots down the line,” said Tsai. “The past two years I have been
working on just being steady.”
The Broncos last home game was Saturday, and as the season comes
to a close, Tsai prepares to play in USTA tournaments for the
duration of the summer. The tennis team has a lot of new good
players coming in next year, which Tsai looks forward to, but she
knows she will have to strive harder to keep her title as number
Ashley Schofield can be reached by e-mail at
email@example.com or by phone at (909) 869-4630.
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