Engelbrecht experiencing success on and off the court

Despite dropping their first match of the year Friday to Air Force, the Washburn women’s tennis team has come out strong to start the 2019 spring season.

The team has played extremely consistent and the play of junior Jacqueline Engelbrecht has helped pace that tremendous start.

Engelbrecht from Joplin, Missouri, is the daughter of Jay and Sharon Engelbrecht. She is one of three children, including her sister, Madeleine, and her brother, Miles.

“My family are definitely the most important people in my life,” said Engelbrecht.

Both of Engelbrecht’s parents are college professors. Her father is an English professor at St. Johns River State College outside of Jacksonville, Florida, where her family recently relocated from her hometown of Joplin. Her mother teaches sociology online through Crowder College and Colorado State University.

Engelbrecht is undoubtedly close to her family. Before attending college, she was homeschooled through all 12 years of school.

Without attending high school, Engelbrecht played club tennis before college. She was third in singles and first in doubles at a June 2015 futures tournament. She also finished the season at No. 1 in the Missouri Valley for the five seasons prior to her freshman season at Washburn.

Engelbrecht has continued striving for success on the court at Washburn. She made the semifinals at the ITA Regional Cup this past fall and beat the number two seed, who was ranked in the top five nationally, on her way to the semifinal match.

This performance ranked her No. 4, which gave her plenty of confidence that she can continue to compete at a high level.

Upon deciding where to attend college, Engelbrecht was particularly attracted to Washburn for a couple reasons.

“Initially, the tennis scholarship was one of the biggest reasons [for choosing Washburn],” said Engelbrecht. “But I also wanted to stay fairly close to home, and when I came on my visit I fell in love with the people here.”

She especially liked the kind and caring professors, the small class size and the way that the campus is set up.

“Washburn has a big family feel, which I really like,” said Engelbrecht. “Whether it’s on the team or in my major classes with all my peers, it just has a welcoming, ‘everyone supporting each other’ feel to it.”

Engelbrecht is currently majoring in kinesiology and will be starting grad school this summer with aspirations of becoming an occupational therapist after she graduates.

The busy life of a student athlete doesn’t leave much time for extra-curricular activities, so Engelbrecht spends her time watching a lot of “The Office” and “Parks and Rec” on Netflix.

She also enjoys reading, specifically poetry, and listening to music.

After graduation, Engelbrecht may have a chance to pursue one of her more favorite hobbies of traveling because she will have more available time.

Travel destination number one on the list for Engelbrecht is Santorini, Greece, because of its beauty.

“I love how it’s up on a cliff and all the buildings are white and it looks over the ocean,” said Engelbrecht. “I just think it’s a very pretty place.”

Engelbrecht says the coolest experience of her life happened last summer when her dad baptized her in the Atlantic Ocean in St. Augustine, Florida.

“Having my dad do it and having my mom, my brother and my now fiancé there was a perfect moment,” said Engelbrecht. “And doing it at the beach, the ocean is my favorite place ever, so doing it someplace so special was really neat.”

Engelbrecht and her teammates are preparing to bring their best as they host Newman at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 2.