New Zealand standout Janvhi Clark has achieved her dream to play collegiate tennis in the U.S.

Photo courtesy of Janvhi Clark

When Janvhi Clark was 6 years old, she was eager to follow in her older sister Sita’s footsteps by beginning to take tennis lessons.

Now the third-highest ranked junior in New Zealand, Clark has signed with the Ducks, fulfilling her dream to be a Division I athlete in the United States.

Clark had set this goal for herself knowing that the United States would give her the opportunity to pursue athletics and academics simultaneously. She has been an honor roll student at St. Peter’s School and received a scholar’s tie and a Silver Owl Award for academic excellence. The tennis talent plans to major in business.

Angela Swinkels, Clark’s former coach, was able to help Clark navigate through her offers, and describes the University of Oregon as “easily her first choice.”

“On my recruiting trip I just felt that it was the perfect place for me to knuckle down, grow and get better,” Clark said. “It was the coaches who played a big part in my decision. Both of them are very committed and passionate about the culture they are creating here and are focused on development in all aspects. The same can be said about the entire team.”

Clark has won the Auckland ITF indoor championship in doubles, been a finalist in the 2016 18u Rod Laver Queensland State nationals in Australia, and been a doubles finalist and singles semi-finalist at the New Zealand 18u national championship. She has been ranked as high as No. 2 in the national age group rankings.

Still, the biggest trait that both her former and current coaches have been quick to complement is Clark’s impeccable work ethic.

“[Clark] has a desire to develop and is willing to listen and to be coached,” Oregon head coach Alison Silverio said. “[She] also possesses a high level of professionalism that will permeate throughout team.”

Swinkels agrees.

“Janvhi’s work ethic is unquestionably one of the best in [New Zealand],” she said. “She will work as hard as she can and then find a little bit more.”

Swinkels complemented Clark’s “sheer physicality” in terms of athleticism.

Although Clark is aware of the challenges that may come with being so far from her home, she has made it clear that Eugene is exactly where she wants to be.

“I am very excited and honored to be part of this team,” Clark said. “The energy in everything they do is infectious, whether it’s in the weight room, during fitness, or on the court. It makes you want to be out there.”

Follow Alexa Chedid on Twitter @alexachedid18

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