Cowichan Bay tennis player Grace Haugen earned a spot on the ITA’s Top-20 Mountain Region Singles Rankings after finishing her freshman season at the University of Montana with an 8-7 singles record overall, including a 3-2 record in conference.
Although Haugen missed some of the season with an injury, she proved herself a top player in the conference, earning a spot on the All-Big Sky First Team.
“I was super excited when [Montana women’s tennis coach Steve Ascher] texted me the news because I wasn’t really expecting anything in my freshman year,” Haugen said in a release from the university. “I was super excited to see that my matches were able to get me in the rankings this year.”
Haugen attributed her success as a freshman to her mental game.
“I’ve always had a super competitive personality,” she said. “I also had to push through a lot of stuff, especially with some injuries, so the matches I did play I wanted to win. When I came back from my injury I told myself I wasn’t going to lose another match.
“It’s a lot of mental competitiveness. It helps me a lot.”
After a strong first season, Haugen has a lot to build on as she prepares for her second season with the Griz.
“I’m super excited and really motivated to try to do even better than I did this year,” she said. “I feel like my freshman nerves are gone. I think I’ll have more confidence going into the fall season especially, as well as spring season with the new team members.”