Maya Jansen made a little history last week, but she’s focused on a bright future. Last week, the 21-year-old from Freeman won her second straight NCAA doubles tennis title for the University of Alabama. She and partner Erin Routliffe became only the second repeat champions in Division I history.
“I didn’t know that until we finished,” Jansen said.
Jansen and Routliffe were the top-seeded team in the tournament that ended May 25 in Waco, Texas, but that didn’t lessen the accomplishment.
“It was definitely hard repeating, and it was in the back of everyone’s minds,” said Jansen, a junior. That included their opponent in the finals, California, whose coach Amanda Augustus and partner Amy Jensen were the first to win back-to-back championships in 1998 and 1999.
Unfazed by the pressure of being the favorite, Jansen and Routliffe cruised into the final, where they defeated the Bears’ Karla Fabikova and Zsofy Susanyi 6-2, 6-7 (5), 6-3.
“It’s an amazing feeling to know that you’re a national champion.
“We are so thankful to be playing for the University of Alabama, and to win a national title for your university is amazing,” said Jansen, who finished 32-4 in doubles play and went 18-3 in singles to earn All-Southeastern Conference first-team honors.
“We are absolutely ecstatic to be bringing a trophy back to Tuscaloosa. None of this would have been possible without all of the support from our teammates, coaches and entire program – this is a really special feeling,” Jansen said.
As a senior at Freeman in 2011-12, Jansen was the top-ranked singles player in the Northwest, thanks partly to the help of her father, Spokane Racquet Club professional Andy Jansen. At the same time, she played volleyball at Freeman for her mother, Eva Windlin-Jansen.
Jansen initially committed to play at Virginia, but switched at the last minute to the Crimson Tide. No regrets there.
“It turned out better than I could imagine,” Jansen said. “The athletes have so many opportunities, and the school really tries to help the student athletes.”
This summer, Jansen plans to play a little, gauging her skills for a possible pro career. A public relations major, the All-SEC academic performer also has an internship with Crimson Tide Productions, an arm of the athletic department that produces promotional videos.
On the court, she and Routliffe, who’ll be a junior next year, already have their eyes on an unprecedented third straight title. After that, Jansen said she hopes to play professionally.
“More and more that’s becoming a possibility,” she said.
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