April 5, 2006
When UI sophomore Jacqueline Lee steps onto the tennis court, she can do so knowing she has accomplished something not many people have.
Lee currently has a 13 match-winning streak, bringing her spring record to 14-1.
For Head Coach Daryl Greenan, it comes as no surprise that Jacqueline is experiencing success.
“It has a lot to do with her work ethic. She is not only a strong athlete and a talented player, but she works hard day in and day out in practice,” said Greenan. Lee sees her streak because of refocusing her energy.
“The reason why I feel I’ve been successful is because I’ve channeled my energy into playing for God instead of playing mindlessly. I have improved mentally. I feel that whomever I walk on the court with… I can beat. I give myself a chance to play my best tennis and a reason to be out there,” said Lee.
Lee, who graduated early from high school in December of 2004 from Canton, Ohio, posted a 14-8 mark last year in dual singles competition, including a 7-4 record in Big Ten competition. She also showed potential in doubles play, going 11-7.
Comparing her freshman year to now, Greenan can easily see where she’s improved.
“She’s definitely improved her serve. She already had all the shots, but she’s playing a more intelligent game. She’s learning to manage her game better,” said Greenan.
For Lee, it was important to work on her mental game rather than the physical aspect.
“There isn’t a particular stroke I’ve been working to improve. For the most part, I’m just keeping them tuned. The biggest factor with my game is mental. I’ve really focused on becoming mentally tougher day after day and it’s improved my overall game,” said Lee.
While putting together a 13 game win streak is something to be proud of, Lee is more impressed with her victory at Ohio State.
“Being from Ohio, not only my immediate but many of my extended family came to the match. My parents hadn’t seen me play a collegiate match, being that far away, and my relatives hadn’t seen me play tennis since I was about 16,” she said.
“In past circumstances such as these, I would tend to get nervous and play extremely tight in wanting to do so well. This time I felt a certain calmness. Not only was I able to play solid and automatic, but relaxed.”
In addition to a solid singles season, Lee has continued to improve her doubles game. She and junior Meg Racette have posted a 10-4 record, which pleases Greenan.
“They compliment each other very well. Meg is laid back and kind of a natural. Jacqueline is a very intense, hard worker. They are both fine players and can beat anybody on a given day,” said Greenan.
“If we continue to improve what we have, the sky is the limit,” said Lee.
Despite the fact that doubles can bring less stress, Lee prefers to play singles.
“I like having total control of the match and where the ball goes every time,” she said.
The future looks bright for Lee. With two more years of eligibility, Lee has many goals to accomplish before her time at Iowa has ended.
“With psychology as my major, I want to learn as much as possible in order to become the best child psychologist I can,” she said.
“Athletically, I would like to make a strong impact at NCAAs. Right now, I feel it is just the beginning for me. I’m still searching for my highest potential. No one has seen it yet, not even Daryl.”
written by Jennifer Bissell, Iowa Sports Information