The Student News Site of Menlo School

The Coat of Arms

The Student News Site of Menlo School

The Coat of Arms

The Student News Site of Menlo School

The Coat of Arms

Tennis Player Kate Hsia Serves Up a Golden Match

Pam McKenney
Photo courtesy of Pam McKenney

No double faults, no shots out of the lines and no shots to the net. In not losing a single point during her two-set match against Harker in early October, varsity girls tennis captain and junior Kate Hsia achieved a rare feat: a golden match. Varsity boys and girls tennis coach Bill Shine has never seen a high school player have a golden match before. “I’ve been playing tournaments since I was six and I’ve never even heard of [a golden match],” Shine said. “Maybe, you know, you hear someone having a golden set […] but never a golden match.”

Like Shine, Hsia had never heard of a golden match before. “I didn’t think it was possible,” Hsia said. Before the match, the team had been working with golf coach Francis Santora on their mental game and were reading Zen Tennis: Playing in the Zone where one of the authors, Bill Scanlon had a golden set. “I thought that was really impressive,” Hsia said. “And when I was playing this girl I thought ‘Oh, maybe I can get a golden set.’” Subsequently, Hsia set the goal for herself to work on her mental game.

Once she got the golden set, Hsia was so happy that she was not really thinking about getting a golden match. It wasn’t until the fifth game in the second set that Hsia realized getting a golden match was a possibility for her. According to Shine, when Hsia walked off the court after the match, she was kind of embarrassed because she got all the attention. “It couldn’t happen to a better kid,” he said

Shine emphasized the amount of mental prowess that goes into having a golden set or match. “It doesn’t mean that somebody is really bad or somebody is really good,” he said. “It’s just almost impossible.” Shine said the only thing he could compare it to is a perfect game in baseball, when a pitcher does not allow any runners on base. In the MLB, there have been 24 perfect games in the league’s history. “[A golden match] is like pitching a perfect game but never throwing a ball,” Shine said.

Hsia started playing tennis casually with her parents around the age of five. “I didn’t really start getting serious about it until the summer before 9th grade when I wanted to try to make varsity,” she said. Hsia ended up making varsity and has been on the team since. While she does a lot more clinics and lessons now, Hsia still practices with her parents on the weekends so she doesn’t get rusty.

Shine has coached Hsia since she was in 6th grade at Menlo. “She’s phenomenal. She’s improved so much,” Shine said. “She’s become a really good leader through the way she works hard and the way she encourages the younger players.”

Shine attributes her parents to her strong personality. “She’s very considerate and giving to everybody,” he said. Shine is retiring next year after nearly three decades at Menlo. “I’m going to miss her. That’s for sure.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Devon Schaefer
Devon Schaefer, Sports Editor

Number of years in The Coat of Arms: 2

Favorite aspect of journalism: sharing fascinating stories with the Menlo community

Interests outside of school: lacrosse, soccer, cooking, reading

Class of 2025

Comments (0)

The Coat of Arms encourages dialogue with our audience. We welcome constructive comments that avoid slander, hate, profanity and misinformation. In an effort to give voice to a variety of perspectives, anonymous comments will be considered, but signed comments are preferred. If you would like to submit an anonymous comment, please write "Anonymous" in the "Name" field below. While a valid email address is required, The Coat of Arms will not publish your email address. The Editorial Board will review comments and decide whether they will be put online; the editors reserve the right to edit for concision.
All The Coat of Arms Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *