By Sora Park
Committed to Yale University’s class of 2023, junior Rena Lin has already decided the next five years of her life.
Last summer, Lin competed in a tennis match against another student athlete who was being scouted by Yale’s admission committee. Unaware of the added pressure of scouts’ eyes on the match, she won the match. Considering that Lin was an underclassman, her astounding tennis skills were recognized.
Since she began her tennis career at the age of ten, Lin has accumulated over 150 trophies from competitions all around the state.
“I grew up always having tennis playing on the television in the background. When my parents first put me in tennis, it was partly because they enjoyed the sport so much. Even now, they play it often and their love for it influences me as well,” Lin said.
That passion for the sport has helped her as a member of the varsity team at school as well as in other tournaments.
“My parents started me in tournaments because they saw it as a good way for me not only to get exercise but also develop a passion for the sport. Since then I’ve decided to pursue tennis at Granada because I love being in a team setting, and I desire to improve my leadership skills,” Lin said.
Lin’s upcoming competition will be a Level 2 Southern California tournament, this weekend. Along with continuing her passion, Lin has not only developed leadership capabilities, but also helped other members of the team.
“[Lin] is an incredible tennis player with a ton of talent and drive. I generally use her as an assistant coach at practices, using her as a hitting partner for the other girls. She is able and willing to do whatever I ask of her in order to give her teammates more practice playing against certain types of players or shots. She has slowly taken on a leadership role on the team and will continue to do so as a senior next year,” girls tennis coach Archer Nishioka said.
Lin will continue tennis at Yale. Afterward, she hopes to play a few years of professional tennis prior to becoming a college coach.
“I aspire to be a coach because I realized that I’m good at seeing and understanding how to help someone get better, whether by helping them with their strokes or their matchplay. I’d love to be able to help young players improve their game because I’ve been through it and I know how tough it can be,” Lin said.
Even as a junior, Lin has already cultivated memories that will last the rest of her life from joining the tennis team to competing in tournaments and competitions. Lin also takes pride in the family she has made the last three years in her teammates and coaches.
“Some of my favorite memories regarding tennis include team tournaments where I have learned that the bond with a team is inseparable. Practice everyday with the same people is where I have created a family. All of use are trying to improve,” Lin said.