Current Oregon tennis freshman standout Julia Eshet was in the middle of contemplating turning professional versus attending college when her decision was rocked by an ACL tear that sidelined her for a minimum of six months.
Though Eshet had temporarily lost the game of tennis, and admittedly was in a “mentally bad place,” she was able to use the hiatus to rediscover one of her other passions.
“I just got heavy into writing music,” Eshet said. “I got addicted to it.”
At the time of her ACL tear, Eshet was in the process of building a relationship with Oregon assistant coach Tony Giannoni after he saw her play at an international tournament.
“He told me all of the resources that Oregon had. It kind of got me excited,” Eshet said. “And [after the injury] they still wanted me. So, I was like ‘OK, let’s do this.’”
In addition to the impressive tennis resources, a respectable music program awaited Eshet at Oregon. The School of Music and Dance offers a major in music performance where students can study just about any kind of instrument in addition to composition, conducting and music technology.
Now fully healed, Eshet is a music major at Oregon who has had an exceptional start to her collegiate tennis career. At the Ducks’ latest tournament, the Gonzaga Invitational, she claimed first place in singles play, as well as in doubles play alongside partner Marlou Kluiving.
Eshet and Kluiving, a freshman and a senior, both agree that there was an instant connection when Oregon coaches placed them together as doubles partners.
“Julia learns quickly,” Kluiving said. “She’s doing great.”
Despite being the newest face on the team, Eshet said that she feels comfortable speaking up when the two are on the court together.
“She [Kluiving] listens to me, she listens to my ideas,” Eshet said. “Theres a mutual respect between each other, and I appreciate that.”
The Florida native also raved about the level of support that her coaching staff has provided. She took note right away at how “genuine” Giannoni and head coach Alison Silverio have been.
“I told them about my music and they wanted to support me in music,” Eshet said. “[They] want you to develop on the court and off the court. [They] want you to be a well-rounded person.”
Eshet is now able to balance her passions for tennis and music while she trains for the upcoming season, which begins in January.
“I can text my advisor at 10 o’ clock at night. Trainers text us at 6 o’ clock in the morning to tell us where to go,” Eshet said admiringly. “It’s a very good feeling. I’m away from home, but I feel like I have a family here.”
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