BEN SCHUH | DAILY EVERGREEN FILE
From Taiwan to the U.S., the positive aura that surrounds freshman tennis player Yang Lee helped her team reach a 16-4 record on the season.
Growing up in Taichung, Taiwan, Lee enjoyed small-time elementary school sports but she loved none as much as she loved tennis. She joined her first tennis team around ten years ago after her friend suggested she play on the team, Lee said. From then on, Lee had fun experiences with tennis and stuck with it.
She said her home is different from Pullman, and still prefers the warm and humid island climate of Taichung to the colder Pullman temperatures.
In Taiwan, Lee was ranked No. 37 in the International Tennis Federation World Junior rankings and was placed at No. 1,047 in the Women’s Tennis Association rankings in June 2016.
Now with her talents at WSU, the fans can really see what goes on in the mind of the freshman and how she gets pumped for each set, every match.
“I love it when I play. I’m just happy,” Lee said.”I appreciate that I can play and in matches. I trust my teammates a lot so I just enjoy it.”
As her first year at WSU comes to an end, her current record is 11-5 in doubles and 6-2 in singles play, not including non-finished sets.
Head Coach Lisa Hart has high hopes for Lee’s potential as she’s already a great player. Hart said she can’t wait to see her become greater through the rest of the season.
“She’s had a great freshman season so far. I also think there’s a lot still inside of her,” Hart said. “We’ve seen some flashes of greatness obviously in matches, but I think there’s even more there and hopefully within the next four weeks we see even better stuff from her.”
Lee said she enjoys the time she spends with her teammates, which has been her favorite part of the season.
With the success the team has seen this season, Lee said saw forward to the rest of the season and what it will bring.
Hart said she believes a portion of the team’s success belongs to Lee’s uplifting attitude and positivity as it encourages her fellow teammates.
“She is extremely positive on the court and I think that can be very contagious on a team,” Hart said. “I think it has definitely helped our team in some close matches and some of the close wins we’ve had.”
With four more weeks left in the season, there are plenty more opportunities for Lee to bring her happy nature to the competitive courts.
Lee said she has more she wants to bring to the table and can’t wait for the encouraging chants of “Go Cougs” from the crowd. She said she plays for the team and is proud to be a Cougar because having the fans at her back helps encourage and pump her up.
She’s going to continue working hard for the remainder of the season and as she continues to play as a Cougar she’s looking to improve.
“We just want to keep working hard, we all have had a good season right now and we’ve improved to get better,” Lee said. “I want to improve more, that’s my goal.”