Junior starts spring season strong


Shawn Paik

Woman Tennis player Carmen Lai was a two-year member of the tennis team at the University of Delaware before attending NYU.

Kyle Luther, Deputy Sports Editor

The NYU women’s tennis team came off a strong preseason with a vital first match victory thanks in large part to junior Carmen Lai.

Originally from Hong Kong, Lai transferred to CAS after two years at University of Delaware.

In high school, Lai successfully balanced being a top junior competitor with her academic life. Along with being a four-time Hong Kong Interschool Tennis Competition runner-up, she was ranked second in mathematics in her graduating class. Lai was a Hong Kong National Junior Tennis Championship runner up in 2012. In her senior year she was named a captain of her school’s team.

Lai left behind her success in Hong Kong and decided to attend college in the United States. In her two years at Delaware, Lai had a 36-21 overall singles record and a 30-23 doubles record. She was also named to the Colonial Athletic Association All-Academic Team. She transferred to NYU this fall for the academics and culture.

“NYU is a prestigious school that has a very strong math program,” Lai said. “I enjoy meeting people who have different cultural backgrounds so that I can expand understanding of the world around them. And of course, living in the city is great.”

Coming to NYU has been a welcoming experience so far for Lai.

“The adjustment went very well,” Lai said. “ I also feel very lucky that I was able to pair with Laila, my doubles partner, at the beginning of last season. The first time we played doubles together, we already felt that we have a great connection playing together. We are very supportive and never blame each other.”

Now in her first year with the Violets, Lai holds a 5-2 singles record and a 9-4 doubles record after the preseason and opening meeting with Swarthmore College. In doubles, Lai and sophomore Laila El Dessouki are the Violets most formidable duo. The pair competed in the ITA National Small College Championships earlier this semester and ranked ninth in the Northeast region. They defeated Swarthmore 8-3 to open the season.

While the season has only just begun, Lai is determined to keep her energy and work ethic for the rest of the season.

Lai will take the court again on March 28 for the first home match of the year against the University of Rochester at the Stadium Tennis Center in the Bronx.

A version of this article was published in the Tuesday, March 24 print edition. Email Kyle Luther at [email protected].