WEEKLY SPORTS FOCUS: Stephanie Matsumoto


Stephanie Matsumoto sits with tennis racquet during interview.

It takes months of practice and hard work to get a tennis ball with a 2.5 inch diameter to hit any part of a tennis racquet’s 105 square inches.

Freshman Stephanie Matsumoto accepts the challenge. Matsumoto had already played golf, and was looking to “play something different.”

After a free trial practice suggested by her mother, a former tennis player, Matsumoto started paid lessons at Oak Park.

Since sixth grade Matsumoto has taken lessons, but has never been part of a team… until now.

“It was kind of hard playing tennis during the practice in the summer (at Stagg),” Matsumoto said. “I wasn’t really sure if I wanted to play tennis anymore; I was lonely.”

She refers to the solitude when playing the sport, it’s a one on one match that breathes competition. After the first month of being a freshman among veteran tennis players, Matsumoto admitted that things will “turn out okay,” and now plays alongside her new friends.

Even though it is not a “physical sport, it still requires a lot of energy,” Matsumoto said. Not only does Matsumoto play for Stagg, but on top of regular practice, she still continues her outside training. Matsumoto does not watch the sport, or have a favorite player, but she pays attention to others on the team enhancing her skill so she can play for college after high school.

“[People think] it’s not very popular, but it is, and very interesting.”