Student-Athlete Spotlight

Ria Vaidya, C'18 - Women's Tennis

1. Name: Ria Vaidya

2. Class Year: 2018

3. Sport: Women's Tennis

4. Position: Singles & Doubles

5. Why did you choose Penn?

I was always interested in the Ivys and when I came to Penn I fell in love with the campus. Walking on Locust Walk just felt right. In terms of classes, I loved the flexibility that was given. Additionally, I loved the vision that Sanela had for the team and my family and I really liked her and our former assistant coach Filip.  

6. What does the experience of being a Penn Tennis student-athlete mean to you?

Being a student-athlete at Penn to me means being able to successfully juggle tennis and school while still following your own other interests. One of the best things about playing tennis at Penn is that while it is an individual sport, playing for Penn and on a team makes it that much more important. In every aspect of my life, especially on the court, I am representing more than just myself, I am representing Penn Tennis. 

7. What would you say to the donors who invest in your experience as a Tennis student-athlete? 

I just want to say that I am extremely grateful for all of the opportunities that have been bestowed upon me due to the virtue of their generous donations. Every year, through all of the ups and downs, I am always reminded of how lucky I am to be part of something bigger than myself all the while doing it with people who echo my sentiments.

8. What has been your favorite moment/memory with Penn Tennis?

Beating Cornell last spring was definitely one of my favorite memories with Penn Tennis. We had had two unfortunate losses earlier in the Ivy season and Cornell was one of the main teams vying for the title. I played at the number 2 spot against one of their seniors and had a long 3-setter against her. When I got into the third set, my teammate next to me was also getting into a tough 3-setter and we needed one of us to win in order to beat them. Beating Cornell ended up being a very important turning point in our Ivy season last year.

9. What does life after Penn look like?

Next year I will be working in a category specialist role in e-commerce at Jet.com in New York. 

10. What are some lessons that you have learned through athletics at Penn that will stay with you after graduation?

Teamwork, tenacity and time-management are skills I have acquired at Penn thanks to tennis and it is something that I am positive will stay with me for the rest of my life.