One-on-One with Jacqueline Crawford '17
This week, I sat down with Jacqueline Crawford ’17 of the women’s tennis team. The team recently jumped to No. 22 in the national rankings after winning the ECAC Championship for the first time in program history. This past weekend, the Big Green women defeated the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, 4-3.
When did you first start playing tennis?
JC: I first started playing tennis when I was around nine years old.
Did you play any other sports growing up?
JC: Not really. I started playing tennis competitively almost immediately, and went to a tennis academy when I was 10.
What is your favorite part about the game?
JC: I love the individuality of it. You have your coach who can give a little help, but mainly it’s just you against your opponent.
How has your winter season been so far?
JC: Winter season has been incredible. Our team has been working really hard and had great chemistry. I think it’s really been showing in our matches.
What has been your favorite part about playing for Dartmouth?
JC: The team — having them there to support you and fight for you — is a really special part of college tennis.
How does this vary from fall and spring tennis?
JC: Winter season is the start of dual matches. It’s really cool to start playing team against team, as opposed to the individual fall season.
How did you as a team and as an individual prepare for the match against UMass?
JC: Personally, I’ve been working on moving up in the court to impose my game more, as well as hitting balls more forcefully while on the run.
What did your coach have to say after the match?
JC: After my last match, my coach assured me that I was on the right track to continue improving and contributing to the team moving forward.
What, specifically, are you working on in the coming weeks?
JC: I will be continuing to work on my serve placement, movement and offensive transitions moving forward. Since coming back, we’ve been working a lot on getting more comfortable moving, so that I can be in position to play a more offensive game.
Who do you think your stiffest competition will be?
JC: Columbia and Harvard [Universities] are always tough matches. However, we recently beat Columbia to win the ECAC Championship. Princeton [University], the defending Ivy League Champions, should also be good competition.
How did it feel to win the program’s first ever ECAC Championship?
JC: It was a great moment for our team and the program. We’ve been improving as a team, but to prove it and win the ECAC’s was really special for everyone on the team.
What has it been like to transition into more of a leadership role on the team now as a sophomore as opposed to a freshman?
JC: The freshman on our team are fantastic, which has made the transition to sophomore year really easy.
Is there any advice you would give the freshmen on your team that you wish you had known in hindsight last year?
JC: Appreciate your teammates, but also don’t be afraid to ask them for help. They’ll always be there to help and support you with anything you do.
Do you or your teammates have any superstitions or pre-match rituals?
JC: We have pre-match “psyche ups” to help us loosen up before matches.
Off the court, how do you like to spend your time at Dartmouth?
JC: Tennis is a year -ound sport, so any extra time is usually spent catching up with work and friends.
This interview has been edited and condensed.