'Well'-Traveled (Jenny Lewellen)
April 26, 2010 6:06 PM
Our Taco John's Athlete of the Week has played tennis all over the country, but she is finishing her career at USF. Jenny Lewellen is outstanding on the court, and off it as well.
When Jenny Lewellen transferred from USD to USF, no one felt luckier than coach Kevin Grebin. All of the sudden he had one of the best players in the NAIA.
"It's fun to watch her play a point," said USF Tennis Coach Kevin Grebin. "It's a definite advantage to have somebody of Jenny's caliber as a member of our team. She definitely pulls up the playing ability to our other players and it's nice to make them compete at a higher level. She just brings out the best in them seeing what she can do also."
Lewellen grew up in Seattle, but wanted to see other parts of the country. She played tennis in North Carolina for a while, later transferred to USD for it's medical program. From there, she decided USF was a better fit for pharmacy. No matter where she was though, tennis was always there too, but slightly in the background.
"Yeah, tennis is fun, but I'm not gonna make a career out of it," said Lewellen. "So to me it's just enjoyable to play it. It doesn't really matter if you're playing D-I or NAIA."
Lewellen was recently honored at the FCA Honor banquet for her volunteering. She gives tennis lessons to kids at the Multi-Cultural Center, and they have a pretty good teacher. Last year, Lewellen was named GPAC Player of the Year as well as an NAIA All-American.
"I was pretty stoked about it," said Lewellen about her All-American honors. "I was definitely stoked about it. And yeah, I've known a couple of people from when I was growing up in Juniors that made that list and they were really good tennis players, so I was happy about it. I was really excited about it."
Now as a senior, she hopes to lead her team to Nationals.
"I think we'll get there. I hope we will. It'd be really fun," said Lewellen.
Nationals are in Mobile, Alabama. A different part of the country. It would be a nice way to end a distinguished, well-traveled career.