Senior commits to play Division I tennis at UC Irvine

October 30, 2017 — by Chelsea Leung

When student athletes become injured, they usually sit out practices and games to recover. But after senior tennis player Dasee Carter injured her right wrist last October, instead of sitting out, she learned to play left-handed just to get back on the court.

“Dasee is an all-in kinda gal,” said Tim Sunderland, coach of the Bay Club Courtside Anteaters, which Carter has played with for the past seven summers. “Still, at only a fraction of her best level of play, Dasee keeps fighting back.”

Her passion for tennis has now propelled her to a college level. Carter recently committed to playing on UC Irvine’s Division I tennis team while majoring in biology. She plans to go into either sports medicine or psychiatry someday.

As a highly competitive player, Carter said that although she had spoken to other college coaches from the University of Chicago, NYU, UCSD and Claremont McKenna for the past two years, she did not receive an offer from Irvine until the week before school started.

Since Irvine was her top choice as well as a Division I school, Carter said that she felt “so excited and just relieved” after receiving the offer. This has also lifted the pressure that other seniors still face, because though Carter still has to apply to Irvine normally, she does not need to apply to other schools.  

Carter has played tennis for nine years. She mostly plays individually and trains privately with Brian Eagle, co-founder of the Eagle Fustar Tennis Academy.

Under the mentorship of Eagle and her previous coach, Byron Nepomuceno, now the Los Gatos High tennis coach, Carter was a 2016 Stockton Championship winner and a Stockton Excellence semi-finalist, among a multiple of other victories. Another measure of her skill is that Carter is ranked 163 out of around 5,000 potential recruits nationwide on the college recruiting rankings.

Her success has not always been a smooth ride. Carter sustained many injuries, her biggest being to her wrist last October. After unsuccessful recoveries using casts and physical therapy, Carter underwent surgery this April and was able to restart playing, first left-handed and then eventually right-handed during the summer.

Although still not completely recovered, Carter went with Bay Club Courtside to the United States Tennis Association national championships in Florida this summer. There, her team won second place.

“Even though she would lose to significantly lesser players than her normal level of play, she would battle on and helped her team become the second best in the country,” Sunderland said. “The Anteaters are very lucky to have Dasee Carter.”

Along with Florida nationals, Carter feels that her history of playing competitively will help her with her future in college athletics. Currently, she practices 10 to 12 hours a week, and increases to 17 hours when preparing for tournaments, which occur almost every weekend.

Carter said that in college, she looks forward most to living on her own and traveling with her teammates.

“Everyone says that your best friends are the people on your team,” Carter said. “Being on the team is always going to be fun.”