In her first five seasons, Whitman reeled off 19 victories in 22 matches against Northwest Conference opponents, never losing more than one league match in a season. In 1988, her squad posted a 17-4 record overall while winning conference and district championships. That season's team captain, Lynn Greer, advanced to the semi-final round of the NCAA Div. III national championships in both singles and doubles (along with partner Stephanie Turner).
What promises to be a new era of success arrived in the fall of 1995 with a talented group of first-year players. McCarthy, a two-time conference coach-of-the-year, watched as her young squad won nine of 11 matches late in the 1996 spring season.
And while winning has its place, McCarthy emphasizes that there's more to tennis -- and life -- than just winning.
"I stress the importance of a good education, and how important that is for women," she said. "I love working with the young women who play tennis at Whitman, and I put 100 percent of my energy and emotion into their progress, both on and off the court."
"I want my players to understand that winning and tennis is not the end-all," McCarthy added. "They're going to have a life after tennis. I want their experience with our tennis program to help them mature and be successful later in life."
McCarthy grew up in Walla Walla and earned a bachelor's degree in French at the University of Washington. Not until she was 24 years old, however, did she take up the game of tennis. She was living in Japan at the time, traveling throughout the Orient while working for Mikimoto Pearls.
She and Jim McCarthy, a 1963 graduate of Whitman, married in 1970 and have played in countless mixed doubles tournaments through the years. Jayne also competes as a member of a local U.S. Tennis Association team that includes Jan Rolfe, an associate vice president of development at Whitman. Jim, a member of the Whitman Board of Overseers and vice president at Baker Boyer Bank in Walla Walla, recently shared in a Washignton state men's doubles age-division championship.
In recent years, the couple's two sons, Derek and Ryan, have anchored the varsity tennis teams at Walla Walla High School. Ryan, the younger of the two, will graduate from Wa-Hi in the spring of 1996 and is gunning for his fourth consecutive trip to the state high school tennis tournament. Derek, also a tennis stand-out at Wa-Hi, now competes on the varsity squad at Willamette University.
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