Success on the court hasn’t been hard to find for 18-year-old tennis prodigy Jayci Goldsmith.
Goldsmith, a Dripping Springs native, has been all over the map, representing herself and Dripping Springs High with her on-court talents. It’s no surprise that Goldsmith, who will attend Texas A&M in the fall, earned back-to-back UIL 5A singles state championships in the past two seasons.
Perhaps that’s why it’s so ironic that Goldsmith almost didn’t get into tennis at a young age. Through pushes from her parents, and a little instruction, Goldsmith is now ready to put her No. 40 ranking in the U.S. to the test in the college ranks.
Her first experience with tennis began when Goldsmith’s mom got a job at the Polo Tennis Club in Dripping Springs.
“She really wanted me to try tennis,” Goldsmith said. “I was like, ‘No, I don’t want to.’ She ended up making me try it and I ended up liking it a lot.”
Goldsmith took her first swing on the Polo Tennis Club courts at nine and quickly fell in love with the sport. By 12, she was training up to five hours a day on a consistent schedule. A few years later, Goldsmith began training with Sundanwa Sitaram, a former University of Texas tennis player, who has coached Goldsmith over the past four years at the Polo Tennis Club.
While Goldsmith still plays at the Polo Tennis Club, she transferred to Dripping Springs High School her junior year once she started gaining recognition from college programs. Goldsmith received her first official college offer in the fall of her junior year. The recruiting process became an eye-opening experience for her, as she wanted to make the right decision for her future.
“It was fun, and kind of stressful to where I wanted to go and I wanted to make the right decision,” Goldsmith said. “On my top two decisions I was debating on Alabama and Texas A&M.”
Goldsmith ended up committing to the Aggies in February of her junior campaign. She chose A&M based on the coaching staff and the campus environment.
“I love the head coach at Texas A&M, Mark Weaver,” said Goldsmith. “He’s just an awesome guy, just a great guy in general. When I visited I loved all the school spirit and everything it has. Everyone is super nice there.”
Goldsmith, a left-handed hitter, said she likes to model her game after tennis superstar Roger Federer. Her strengths are her serve and forehand.
“I like Roger Federer a lot. I like his composure on the court and how he acts,” Goldsmith said. “I like how Roger has a lot of respect for his opponents.”
When Goldsmith isn’t on the court training or dominating her competition, she enjoys spending time with friends and going to the lake. One of her favorite hobbies outside of tennis is going fishing. Goldsmith said she has caught an array of fish from red snappers to sharks off the Gulf Coast.
Goldsmith’s grind won’t stop this summer, as she already has three tournaments set up between June and August.
Goldsmith will be competing in Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) tournaments that will host college players from around the nation. She will be competing in Tyler on June 30, Baylor University on July 21, and at Texas Christian University on August 11.