By Cody Smith
Iowa tennis player Adrienne Jensen has come a long way from her freshman season.
Entering college, Jensen was TennisRecruiting’s top-ranked high school player in the state of Iowa in 2014, and when from the moment she started her her tennis career at Drake, she turned heads early.
Receiving All-MVC No. 1 doubles honors and leading her team with 31 singles wins to go with 21 doubles victories, Jensen was ready to take over the tennis world. That all changed during her sophomore season, when new coaching changes and nagging injuries kept her off the court.
After coming to terms with herself and her family, Jensen made the move to close the tennis chapter of her life and begin a new one.
The door to her tennis career had, for the time being, closed, as she transferred to the University of Iowa following her sophomore season at Drake, transitioning from student-athlete to full-time student. Jensen declared as a psychology major with a possibility of transitioning into the medical field.
A year and a half later, Jensen was just grinding on her studies and was mentally prepared to walk for graduation this upcoming May. But that all changed one evening when she got an unexpected call from head coach Sasha Schmid of the women’s tennis team.
“Sasha contacted me and kind of told me that she was in need of someone to help step in for the last few weeks of the season as players tried to get healthy,” Jensen said. “I never thought I’d be in this position, but I’m grateful for the opportunity.”
But this call, make no mistake about it, wasn’t by coincidence. Growing up in Iowa City, Jensen was familiar Schmid, and the Hawkeye coach was Jensen’s first-ever tennis coach back when she was just 5 years old.
“Just to be playing for Sasha is really special thing to me and just kind of my tennis career coming full circle is really neat,” said Jensen.
However, getting back in to tennis shape has been quite difficult for the newly acquired senior. Jensen has yet to get a win in either doubles or singles, going 0-2 with partner Montana Crawford and 0-5 in singles play. But given her situation, it’s not something that matters to her.
“I was kind of just thrown into back on the court with little preparation time,” said Jensen. “And arguably so, that’s the kind of results your going to get when you haven’t been preparing all year like the rest of the athletes.
Nevertheless, the team has rallied behind Jensen, understanding her circumstances and making her feel right at home, whether that be helping her on the court with her swing, or helping outside the court with her studies or personal life.
“The girls have all been so welcoming, it’s a really great group of girls,” said Jensen. “And I just really enjoy getting to know them as individuals and as teammates.
Although Jensen has had the last few couple of weeks to live out her life long dream of playing tennis for the Hawkeyes, the season is dwindling down, which means so is her dream.
Nevertheless, Jensen is ready to become a working adult as she plans to help people after graduation next month.
“I’m not entirely sure what I’m going to be doing or where,” said Jensen. “But I hope to just be in a position to help people in what ever area I choose upon.”