Athlete Profile: Jane Carter

Jane Carter, UIS tennis player.
Photo Courtesy UIS Athletics

Jane Carter, UIS tennis player. Photo Courtesy UIS Athletics


“Jane stood out as a leader right away within our program,” said UIS head tennis coach Samantha Schall, “and she’s been one of the major reasons for all the success we’ve had in the past seasons.” 

Indeed, junior Jane Carter has made phenomenal contributions to tennis at UIS, seeing the team through in many tournaments. 

Carter has been hitting balls with a bat since she was 4 years old. She was born and raised just 25 minutes from Auckland, the most populous city in New Zealand. 

Taking after her parents, she was always into sports, and Carter realized her love for tennis and intentions to take it up seriously when she was 15. She started playing in tournaments – and winning them. 

Carter came to UIS in the spring of 2015; she wanted to play tennis after finishing high school. 

She had an agent looking for schools, and she eventually chose from eight to 10 different schools. 

UIS was her preferred choice for several reasons, chief among those being scholarship money and a chance to pursue a business degree, which Carter had always wanted to do. 

Carter had a great relationship with her last coach back home, so she also needed to be in a place where she felt comfortable and at home. Carter developed a bond with coach Schall, and that was one of the reasons that motivated her to come to UIS. 

Carter mentioned liking the size of the school as well; UIS being not too small and not too big was just the perfect size. She didn’t have snow where she lived in New Zealand, so it was exciting for her to come here and have snowy winters.

Playing for UIS, she has many awards and accolades under her belt, some of which include: GLVC Freshman of the Year; UIS Newcomer of the Year; and GLVC All-Conference. 

She won most valuable player for the tennis team in her freshman and sophomore years. Last year she did a repeat performance, making the all-conference team, getting nominated for female athlete of the year, and making the all-conference team again. 

Carter’s daily regimen is pretty straightforward, with an hour of weight training or conditioning every morning Monday through Thursday and then in the afternoons she practices for two hours. 

She tries to get a decent dinner and prepares herself with some good sleep the night before her games. 

Carter says that it does get difficult for her to manage sports and academics at the same time, but the key for her is to be organized. She gets herself ready for the weekend and she knows what she has to do to be on track and gets it done.

When asked about how she stays focused, Carter said, “In the match I stay focused on every point, not the outcome, and then just in general knowing what the goals are and making sure I’m taking the right steps in achieving them.”

When asked about how the U.S. is different from New Zealand for her, she mentioned that people are mostly laid-back from where she came from; tennis-wise there are a lot more players here so there is so much more experience to be gained with all the games that go on. 

Her coach back home was much older than the coaches here and had a wealth of experience, but their style of play and training are much the same.

One incident that she recalls while playing for UIS is when she was playing against the 12th-place player in a match and winning by a score of 6-2. The opponent’s team had already won, and their coach pulled the match, which made Carter particularly furious. 

Still, all in all, it’s been excellent here at UIS for Jane Carter, and the best part for her is meeting people from all areas if the world. She said that everyone is welcoming and accepting here, and that she certainly didn’t have any problems fitting in. 

“I get to be part of UIS athletics and be a part of the growth, it’s growing more so every year. Better results, better players so it’s really cool to be a part of a department that’s growing every year.” 

Overall, said Carter, “It’s been really good; I like it here. The people make the place.”