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Friday, September 29, 2023


Assertive mentality drives tennis player

When Joanna Kacprzyk is on the tennis court she is not the same person that roams the campus on a daily basis.

On the court, Kacprzyk transforms from a student into an aggressive competitor who uses her temper to intimidate opponents.

“On the court and off the court I have two personalities,” Kacprzyk said. “Sometimes people don’t really recognize me when they see me on the court. All I focus on is tennis at that point.”

Over the course of Kacprzyk’s career she has learned to funnel her aggression into success on the court.

“She’s been getting progressively better,” head coach John Severance said. “She’s smarter on the court, and a lot more disciplined. Frankly, she just knows what to do at the right times now.”

Severance has nicknamed Kacprzyk “the grinder” because it resembles her style of play.

“She’s an aggressive baseline player, and for her to win, her best chance is to grind out her opponents,” Severance said. “Essentially that’s ball movement and discipline. She has to play clean tennis, which means very few unforced errors.”

Kacprzyk credits her father’s involvement in tennis as the reason why she first gravitated to the sport at the age of seven.

“My dad is a tennis coach, so I was always around it,” she said. “I knew when I was young that it was something that I was going to do.”

She was not ready to give up on the sport she loved, so upon graduating high school in Poland, she sought a place where she could continue playing while receiving an education. It ultimately landed her at the John E. Hoff courts at UH.

She said she is proud of how the tennis program has improved in the four years since she first arrived.

“It’s good to see how not only coaches, but also how people in the athletics department have new ideas for development,” she said.

Kacprzyk’s college tennis experience will come to a conclusion this spring, but her academic career will continue into the fall semester, as she finishes up her degree in sports administration with a minor in public relations.

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