By Stephen Cook
Sophomore Shannon Beckett, of Gold Coast, Australia, is progressing this season with a current record of 13-1 in singles and a 14-0 record in doubles.
Born in South Africa, Beckett then immigrated with her family to Australia when she was eight years old. Two years ago, Beckett moved here after making the tennis team.
Beckett was looking for a junior college where she could get a full scholarship.
“I looked here and I had an Australian friend that was here and he said it was super cool and in this area, “Beckett said. “So I decided to come here.”
Beckett started playing tennis after she moved to Australia, when she was eight years old.
“My mum’s very good at it and so I was kind of influenced by her and my sisters and brother, they played as well, very competitively,” Beckett said. “My dad’s a sporting guy too and so we all have a competitive blood in ourselves.”
Now, Beckett is ranked 5th in the nation for community college players in singles and 2nd for doubles.
Glen Moser, Beckett’s coach, said Shannon is a multi-dimensional player and that she is at the top of the lineup.
“Obviously she’s got a lot of talent,” Moser said. “So many players are one dimensional in tennis and Shannon has a lot of dimensions to her game.”
Moser believes Beckett, and the team as a whole, is one of the college’s most successful teams in quite a few years. Overall, the team has a 13-1 record for the season.
Beckett said a favorite part about playing at the college is the everyday challenges with her and her teammates, allowing them to work to improve.
“We know what to play every day and have good competition every day,” Beckett said. “Anytime we play, it’s not that often easy, everything you’ve got to work for and which is cool cause then we can set new goals and achieve new goals.”
Sophomore Erika Castillo Lopez, who is Beckett’s partner in doubles, said that not only is Beckett skilled, but she said her personality leads people to be themselves.
“I think she’s very talented and then she works hard training,” Castillo Lopez said. “She’s very outgoing, I was very shy when I first came here.”
One of Beckett’s favorite moments is from this year’s spring break, when the team went to Texas to compete.
“I beat quite a few girls that I wasn’t really expecting to beat I mean I always had it in the back of my mind that I can do what I can do but, I ended up being undefeated in Spring Trip and that was really cool, that was really good tennis,” Beckett said.
In addition to regular practices and matches with the tennis team, Beckett is currently enrolled in 16 hours. For a degree, Beckett said she is undecided, but is thinking about going into something in the sporting field, possibly sports psychology, athletic training or coaching.
In the future, Beckett hopes to keep athletics as part of her future. She plans on going to Texas State and playing there, then advancing as far as she can.
Looking at this season, Beckett is happy with the success, but is looking forward to playing at regionals this weekend and then hopefully going onto nationals in Arizona.
“So far the score and the record’s talking for itself,” Beckett said. “I feel like I’m playing pretty well and obviously the team’s playing pretty well too.”
How the team works together is what makes the group unique, Beckett said.
“We’re not just teammates, we’re really good friends,” Beckett said. “We hang out on weekends and we almost know each other to the point, we know each other’s game we know what they can work on, we all help each other no matter what the problems are.”
Contact Stephen Cook, editor-in-chief, at firstname.lastname@example.org