Leading by example


Michael Hong

Varsity tennis coach Erin Minuth ’11 chats with freshmen Elise Vulakh during a match against Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory. This is Minuth’s first year as coach, and the team has a 5-0 record.

Jordan Russell, Sports Editor

Varsity tennis walked onto the courts this season with a new head coach who is both an alumna and a former Convent tennis player.

“Tennis is my family’s sport so I’ve played since I was three,” Erin Minuth ’11 said. “I took lessons in elementary, middle and high school. Once I got older, I started playing in tournaments.”

Minuth played varsity tennis her freshman year and continued to play at the California Tennis Club to focus on being recruited for college.

“It’s really valuable to be able to have a coach who is an alumna because she understands the Convent experience,” co-captain Mason Cooney said.  “She’s young so she understands what it’s like to be busy and have a lot of things on our plate.”

Minuth’s connection to her alma mater as well as her love for tennis stood out to athletic director Elena De Santis when Minuth returned to be an associate teacher at Convent Elementary School.

“[Erin] was a big part of the community when she was a student here,” De Santis said, “She will be a great fit for our program and helping find that balance in competitiveness as well as a love for tennis.”

Minuth spends extra time with the team on the way to practices and matches which is a change for the team, according to Cooney.

“Erin rides the bus with us a lot when we go to our home court at SF State,” Cooney said. “It’s good for our team dynamic because she gives us advice and we get to talk to her on a more casual level.”

Being a team player is an important part of playing tennis despite only playing singles or doubles, according to Minuth.

“Tennis is an individual sport, but also has a huge team aspect,” Minuth said. “You don’t just do it for yourself, you do it for the team.”

In addition to helping the team become closer, Minuth will help to encourage offseason workouts for the players, according to De Santis.

“Erin embodies what we want in Convent & Stuart Hall athletics in high energy and a real love and passion for the game,” De Santis said. “She [works] on making sure everyone is involved, whether they’re a starter or not.”

With four wins already under the team’s belt, Minuth looks to the rest of the season as an opportunity to form a strong lineup and increase the team’s competitiveness in league games.  

“[What] I enjoy about this season is getting to coach and spend time with players because I really like working with high school students,” Minuth said. “It’s been fun to be both a mentor and a coach.”