March 02, 2011
Lauren Hewett ’14 has played tennis in five different countries. As a member of UT's women's tennis team, the Hertfordshire, England, native has now brought her competitive nature to Tampa.
Lauren Hewett ’14 has played tennis in five different countries. As a member
of UT's women's tennis team, the Hertfordshire, England, native has now brought
her competitive nature to Tampa.
"I love tennis for the personal
challenge of being out there on the court, one-on-one. It's tough battling out
each point but exciting at the same time,” said Hewett, who enjoyed her first
semester at UT. “My classes went well. The training, although tough, really
improved my fitness and consistency on court, but really, I just had a great
time experiencing life in Tampa.”
The freshman started playing tennis at
7, while living in China.
"I always loved playing in Hong Kong; from the
sunshine to competing, it was truly a great experience for me," said Hewett, an
environmental science major.
She was coached by long-time mentor and
friend Kristin Godridge, who always provided Hewett with valuable advice, like
to always trust her swing and be confident.
"My coach was with me since
the beginning of my tennis career," Hewett said. "I owe a lot of where I am now
After playing in Hong Kong, Hewett continued her tennis career
in England at St. Albans High School for Girls. She was placed into the Advanced
Apprenticeship in Sport Excellence program, which allowed her to focus on her
tennis skills and continue her education.
She loved playing in England
because of the Astroturf, the all-weather material that allows tennis players to
play year round. Playing tennis throughout the year allowed her to improve her
skills, but also provided an interesting experience.
"Playing in the snow
was quite insane," Hewett said. "Once you tossed the ball in the air to serve,
you would lose it immediately."
Hewett never missed a beat to improve
her tennis résumé. She entered tennis tournaments and competed throughout
Europe, compiling 11 first-place finishes since 2007. She won the South of
Scotland Championships three times and several other prestigious and local
tournaments in Great Britain. In the summer of 2010, after compiling points from
all her victories, Hewett earned her highest ranking of #43 in the ladies
singles bracket in England.
"After all that hard work with my coach
Richard Enderby, being ranked was by far my biggest accomplishment while playing
tennis," Hewett said.
From the red clay courts of France to the grass
courts of England, Hewett's hard work and tennis credentials brought her to the
hard courts at The University of Tampa in 2010. She is currently the No. 1
player for the Spartans tennis squad.
"Tennis is quite different now that
I am in college, but I am glad that I am finally part of a team," Hewett said.
Al DuFaux, women's tennis head coach, said he expects Hewett will become
a very accomplished college tennis player.
"She is competing against
women that may be five years older than her with much more experience," DuFaux
said. "However, she is making a great contribution to the team as a freshman
with her competitive skills, maturity and drive."
Written by David