By: Filiz Flood
Last year, GPC’s women’s tennis team placed third at the National Championship Tournament held in Tyler, Texas.
The win helped the women’s tennis program reach its highest national ranking since 2000.
One team player who helped bring home the trophy, and who will be continue to keep GPC strong during its final tennis season this year is D’Asha Davis.
Unseeded in the 2014 National Tournament, Lady Jaguar D’Asha Davis beat expectations and blew away her opponents, making it all the way to the finals in singles and to the semifinals in doubles. Davis shares what it’s like to be a GPC athlete.
The C: You helped GPC reach third place last year in the 2014 NJCAA Tennis National Championship tournament. This is an incredible accomplishment! What was your favorite part in that experience?
DD: “Just being with the team and having that bonding experience, and I did really enjoy making up our team chants during the tournament.
One goes like this, ‘Who are we? GPC! Who are we? GPC! Where my jaguars at? R—-AWR!’
We are huddled in a group with our hands together in the middle, swaying back and forth. When we roar, our hands go up.
We use that one before our matches to get everyone pumped up.
The rest of the chants keep everyone going during a match.
We shout them when we are on the court and off the court, from the side lines.”
The C: During the same tournament, you also performed extremely well on your own and were the national runner-up of the No. 6 bracket. Did you focus on anything specific during those tennis matches to help your game?
DD: “Yes, making sure I was thinking smart and not just trying to out-hit my opponent or show off.”
The C: What inspired you to start playing tennis?
DD: “I’ve been playing for as long as I can remember. Not because of anything specific, but professional tennis player Dominika Cibulková is inspiring. She’s only 5’3” and she still competes with the other top players in the world.”
The C: Do you have any goals for this last season at GPC?
DD: “My goals are to make it to the finals in whatever flight (line) I play at nationals and to stay fit for tennis.”
The C: Now, speaking more generally, what is your favorite food?
DD: “Anything. Ice cream! I will try anything, though. But if I could live off ice cream, I really would.”
The C: Do you have a favorite band or genre of music?
DD: “I just listen to anything. But I’ll say Michael Jackson and dubstep.”
The C: Is there one song you always play before matches to get pumped up?
DD: “Natalie by Bruno Mars.”
The C: Do you like to eat anything special before matches?
DD: “Pasta the night before.”
The C: Which sports drink do you like best? Gatorade, Powerade, or Vitamin Water?
DD: “Just water. I don’t drink sports drinks because of the sugar. And I get all the electrolytes I need from food.”
The C: As you already know, GPC will be ending its sports programs after this semester. What are your plans for the future?
DD: “I’ll have my tennis scholarship for one more semester, and I’ll finish taking classes to graduate. After that, I’ll hopefully continue to play tennis in California.”
The C: Over the years, has tennis taught you any life lessons?
DD: “It has taught me to work hard and when things seem difficult, to work through them and not give up.”