Jacquelyne Qi places sixth at girls’ tennis state

Paula Recio, Social Media Manager & Staff Writer

Senior Jacquelyne Qi won the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) girls tennis sectionals and placed sixth at the state final tournament this October, contributing to a successful season for Naperville Central.

“Throughout our season, she was able to perform at her absolute best and continue to develop her game and positive mental strategies as some of the matches became tougher,” Head Tennis Coach Alyssa Girgis said. “She did an outstanding job through sectionals and winning the championship, and she was awarded a sixth place medal at state.” 

Qi competed at the state tournament in Buffalo Grove from Oct. 24 to 26. The cold proved to be a challenge.

“On Saturday, because it was the coldest, I couldn’t feel my left hand and I couldn’t feel my back hand,” Qi said. “That was a hard thing to get through.”

Though Qi’s muscles were numb, but she persevered and won that match. 

“Jacquelyne never gave up,” Girgis said. “She faced a variety of opponents, and regardless of who was on the other side of the net, she fought for every point, every game, every match she could.”  

Her performance at the DuPage Valley Conference, IHSA sectionals and state final tournament was applauded by her team, including senior captain Brooke Lafferty, who recognized Qi’s technique on the court. 

“Her shots are so consistent and have so much spin and pace,” Lafferty said. “She can place the ball wherever she wants and has so much technique.” 

In addition to her technique, Qi’s sweet and humble spirit makes her a valuable player on and off the court. 

“I admire how humble Jacquelyne is,” Girgis said. “She is an outstanding tennis player, and throughout our season she played against opponents that were happy to win just a point or two off of her. Even through those matches, Jacquelyne was so kind and gracious on the court, and remained very humble as she shook hands with her opponents. That is something very rare to see from a player at her level.” 

Lafferty agrees.  

“She’s easily our best player, but even though she plays individually and she’s so good she’s humble about her talent and kind to her teammates and opponents. She cares about the team and is involved in the things we do as a team outside of just playing tennis,” said Lafferty. 

Qi had one of her best years so far and made her mark this season. 

“I really enjoyed this year,” Qi said. “It was a really, really fun experience.”