Patrick Danielson ‘21
The sport of tennis runs through the blood of Megan Scholvinck ‘19. The senior, from Mill Valley, California, has been immersed in high level tennis since birth. From a young age, her mother, a former professional tennis player, exposed her to high level coaching from the moment she could walk. Scholvinck embraced her bloodline, dropping her promising soccer career in favor of tennis in sixth grade.
“I was playing high level competitive soccer, but I still always dabbled in tennis, so I made the decision when I was twelve to switch full time to tennis and to completely pursue that” Scholvinck said.
Scholvinck’s biggest goal was to play division I tennis; a goal that was not always guaranteed. Scholvinck herself expressed some doubts about her skill early on in her career.
“Division I was always the goal, and however far beyond,” Scholvinck reflected. “I definitely wasn’t by any means the best player in my area, or coming out of northern California, for sure.”
Scholvinck’s time in the varsity team at her school for the first two years of high school was a fun experience, but it was not a high enough level for her. She felt a need to constantly improve, and the best way to do that at the rate she wanted was to play in USTA, the United States Tennis Association. By the end of high school, she had developed into a three-star prospect and committed to Davidson.
At Davidson, her freshman year was characterized by a shock that comes with achieving one’s dreams. “That’s all I wanted, and what I was working towards,” she said, adding, “It was a lot more work, but that’s what I wanted.” Scholvinck had wanted to play at a division one school for so long, and once she achieved this dream, she was thrilled to just be here.
However, in her freshman year, a serve struck her in the head during practice, giving her a concussion. She was forced to skip all responsibilities athletically and academically for an entire week, which was hard for her.
“Missing a day at Davidson is already hard, so missing a whole week was really tough,” Scholvinck described.
Scholvinck appreciated the car her coaching staff provided her and felt lucky to remain a part of the team despite injury. “I was definitely struggling for some matches when I returned” Scholvinck said. “They had a whole progression lined up, and would help me up every time I was failing.”
Towards the end of her first season, in one of the biggest matches of the year, the fate of the entire team rested on her shoulders. In one of the biggest moments of her tennis career, after all the hardship following the concussion, she won. She beat her opponent two sets to three (7-5, 4-6, 6-3) to win the match for her entire team.
Scholvinck described the match as very important to her, saying, “It’s just a really cool feeling to know that it came down to you and you were able to clinch it out for your team.” The team also made a good run into the A-10 conference finals, an impressive result.
In her sophomore year, Scholvinck made a huge jump. She ascended her game to new heights, taking on a new challenge by joining the doubles team, which she had wanted to do for a long time. Scholvinck’s game improved so much that she was named to the A-10 All-Second Team and received the team’s Most Improved Award. “It was nice to see the hard work I was putting in paying off,” Scholvinck described.
The team was less successful during Scholvinck’s sophomore year, performing worse in the conference tournament, but in her eyes, it was compensated for by the individual achievements. She feels she has maintained the same high level of performance ever since.
In the future, Scholvinck hopes to continue her tennis career as far as she can. While she does not expect to join the professional circuit, she would like to play recreationally for as long as she can. If the opportunity to follow in her mother’s footsteps presents itself, Scholvinck would be thrilled to take on the challenge, but in the case she does not turn professional, she would still like to have tennis be a large part of her life.