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Junior Spotlight - Jenna Doerfler

July 29, 2008 02:00 PM


By Tori Townsend

Jenna Doerfler of Winterpark completed an unbelievable tournament at her second ever USTA National Clay Court Championships, July 13-20 at the Racquet Club of Memphis in Tennessee.  Jenna, who rarely travels to National events due to high traveling costs, played seven matches against top ranked 18 and under girls and had five wins – all against girls ranked ahead of her.  More importantly, out of 198 total competitors, Jenna was named Nike Player of the Day on the first day of Clay Courts. The daily recognition was given to a player who demonstrated extreme sportsmanship, played a great four-hour match, or did something off the court that stood out as above and beyond.  The entire year so far, Jenna has stood out above and beyond her competitors.

Not simply because she has had some of the best match results of her tennis career, but because of her character off-court.   Along with her accomplishments at Clay Courts, Jenna received news that she was recipient of the 2008 Schroeder Scholarship.  The first annual scholarship was awarded by the National Tennis Championships, the non-profit corporation that organizes the USTA Girls’ 18 National Championships, in honor of Frederick Rudolph “Ted” Schroeder, Jr. which guarantees advancement to the USTA Girls' 18 National Hard Court Championships in Berkley, Calif., August 2-10.   Jenna was chosen, alongside two other players on the basis of financial need, scholarship, sportsmanship and an essay submission.

“We got that announcement at Clay Courts and it was extremely exciting,” Jenna said.  “It has always been a goal to get to Clay Courts and Hard Courts; I wanted that experience so bad.  It made the whole experience there just absolutely wonderful!”

Before the Clay Court Championships even started, Jenna attended College Coaches Recruiting Day with her mother, Theresa Doerfler, which is a yearly recruiting workshop that 65 to 70 schools attend, looking to meet potential tennis players for their intercollegiate athletic tennis program.  Oftentimes intimating to junior players and their parents, Jenna worked the room like a true champ.

“I was so thrilled for her being able to go and was in awe of the whole process,” Theresa said, referring to college recruiting day.  “She was able to put all of the college stuff to the side, focus on her matches and play her best.  I am so proud of her!”

Jenna is currently coached by Alice Reen and practices out of the Jewish Community Center for hard courts and Azalea Lane Tennis Center in Winter Park for clay courts.  She attends Winter Park High School and grew up playing tennis on the public tennis courts at Sanlando Park in Seminole County.

“I have been doing city junior tennis programs on city courts for as long as I have been playing tennis,” Jenna said.

The program has worked for Jenna as she is currently ranked No. 23 in Florida and No. 124 Nationally (as of July 23, 2008).  Jenna says that little things have added up throughout the year, making for an “unbelievable summer.”

In May 2008, Jenna was named Central Florida Player of the Year.  The following month, she was one of two junior bloggers during the 60th annual USTA Florida Jr. State Closed Singles Championship in Daytona Beach. Add scholarship recipient and player of the day at Clay Courts, the stars seem to be lined up just right.

As Jenna heads to her inaugural Girl’s 18 Hard Court Championships at the beginning of August, she is confident and excited about the upcoming experience.

“I never travel, so it is exciting for me to play girls from other states and compete at that level,” Jenna said.   “It is really an honor to receive the scholarship and it’s definitely something that needs to be put out there for families that could use it.”

USTA Florida Director of Competitive Tennis, Andy Gladstone, has seen Jenna rise up the junior ranks with class and true determination.  He first mentioned the Schroeder Scholarship opportunity to the Doerflers

“She is gold that girl,” he said.  “I enjoy seeing the kids improve and rise up towards the end, and that is exactly what she has done.”

Jenna, good luck at Hard Courts and congratulations on your accomplishments this year! 







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