William Jou did not think he would get the chance to represent the men’s tennis team after he first applied as a freshman at Texas.
After choosing to pursue a degree at Texas, Jou emailed head coach Michael Center and hit for him in May during his summer orientation.
“I hit that summer with [junior Jacoby Lewis] and a former player, Chris Camillone,” Jou said. “I didn’t make the team then, but I was asked to come back after the summer.”
After spending his whole summer training, Jou tried again in the fall and knew he had made the team when he was asked about his
Once aware that he had made the team, then ranked No. 8 in the country, Jou didn’t know what to expect.
“Obviously Texas has a really good team, so I didn’t feel needed,” Jou said. “But this has been a great opportunity, and I have no pressure as far as expectations. It’s whatever I can make out of it.”
The mechanical engineering freshman picked up his first racket at the age of 5 and began playing with his father.
“I feel I was a better player in the beginning of my career,” Jou said. “As I got older, I began to focus more on academics.”
While in high school, Jou competed in USTA tournaments, Texas junior tournaments, national tournaments and even the Nike and Stanford junior tours. He played on the varsity team all four years at Memorial High School in Houston and won the state doubles title his senior season.
“I have been playing tennis just as long as my teammates, [but] just not at the same level or intensity,” Jou said.
Jou practices with the team for about three to four hours each day, and said he is treated equally, despite not being on scholarship like the rest of his teammates. He said being on the team has also taught him about time management.
“My teammates help me improve and encourage me to work harder every day,” Jou said. “We all get along.”
Although he is not allowed to travel with the team yet, he attends every match he can.
Jou has an older brother who is a UT School of Law student, but that’s not why Jou chose to come to Texas.
“I felt like it was a good fit academically and a great place to pursue what I am interested in,” Jou said.