Stephanie Compton, Guest Writer
As sophomore Lute tennis player Emily Beemsterboer steps up for a serve, she plays a song in her head. It helps her “keep the pace and stay positive” in a match.
But before Beemsterboer started tearing up the court at Pacific Lutheran University, she was tearing it up over in Japan. She came all the way to PLU from her hometown of Tokyo.
She began playing tennis as a freshman in high school while in Japan with some help from her computer science teacher.
“[The computer science teacher] was the coach… he needed more girls to play and he asked me to join,” Beemsterboer said.
Beemsterboer also said the biggest difference between tennis in Japan and the U.S. is the amount of people who play tennis.“[In Japan] we would only play a couple of international students.”
Beemsterboer’s tennis idol Kei Nishikori, also from Japan.
“He has changed a lot and it shows me that I can improve too,” Beemsterboer said.
Beemsterboer is also very motivated by growth in her sport and enjoys excelling at the game she loves.
Winning isn’t everything and Beemsterboer values tennis for giving her a group of friends that she gets to enjoy this journey with.
Women’s tennis head coach Lorrie Wood said Beemsterboer is a hard worker and is very invested in her teammates.
Beemsterboer may be a sophomore at PLU, but she is only in her first year of athletic eligibility. She chose not to play in the 2013-2014 season for academic reasons, but this season tennis has helped with her academics.
“Tennis helps me manage time between homework and practice,” Beemsterboer said.
After PLU, she hopes to travel through Europe and hopefully back to Japan, but tennis will never be far from her mind. Beemsterboer believes that tennis is “good for all ages” and hopes more people take up the sport that she loves. And with the summer months ahead, there’s no better time to get out and play.