Athlete of the Issue: Jen Li ’20


Jen Li ’20

Li was positioned to be the number one seed on Girls Varsity Tennis for this season.

Jen Li ’20 is a four-year Senior and captain of both Girls Varsity Tennis and Girls Varsity Cross Country. Last spring, the Girls Varsity Tennis team earned the 2019 Founders League title. Li was positioned to be the number one seed for this season. Teammate Tara Bhandari ’21 said, “Jen is probably one of the most determined tennis players I have ever known. Her commitment to tennis is outstanding, and her positive attitude always drove the team to success.”


What do you love the most about tennis?

I love the adrenaline rush I feel after winning an important point during a match. Rallying back and forth builds up the intensity, and seeing the results of the hard work you put [in during the] off-season on the courts is really gratifying. However, I love playing doubles the most. After training with a partner and developing different strategies and game plans, it’s really exciting to apply them during a match. 


What were you looking forward to the most this season?

I was really looking forward to building a different team dynamic and culture this year. After graduating three out of our top four players last year, I was prepared to instill passion and commitment in the team by making practice and fitness simultaneously fun and serious. Additionally, we’ve had Sunday practices throughout the fall and winter, and playing #1 singles was a challenge that I was excited but a bit nervous for. 


What is your favorite memory from past seasons?

I’d say it’s either winning the New England Championships against Andover after being down 0-3 my Lower Mid year, or defeating the #3 seed at Deerfield last year, which allowed us to move on to the New England finals against Andover. 


How have you and your team coped with the pandemic?

Most of us haven’t been able to go out and hit during the pandemic, because most courts have been shut down. [However,] most of the team has been staying active by doing some of Coach [Brodie] Quinn [’10]’s workouts and we’ve stayed in touch through Zoom. We’re also staying connected with the boys team and created a video on Hotchkiss Tennis Around the World!

Who has inspired you the most as an athlete and why?

This is genuinely a hard question to answer because so many people have inspired me on and off-court at Hotchkiss over the years. Coach Quinn and Coach [Marcus] Christian have both been extremely influential figures within the Dynamic Training program, and their coaching completely changed my perspective on true commitment and discipline. Without their constant motivation and support, I wouldn’t have the resources or knowledge to be the athlete I want to be. Additionally, former captain Savi Roberts ’19, who played on the team and did Dynamic Training with me, was always (and still is) a source of inspiration. We were a competitive dynamic duo that pushed each other and made each other want to strive for better results in the weight room or on the court.


What advice would you give to current and future Hotchkiss athletes?

As Coach Christian would say, holding yourself accountable for your training is always important, but having a teammate [who] shares the same goals and values as you makes staying disciplined and motivated a lot easier. Even on days when one of you [doesn’t] feel the motivation to practice or work out, you will always be there to lift each other up. Training through tough days like those are what will help you improve in the long run.