Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

7 things to know about UTSA’s top men’s double

Kara Lee

Following their win against the visiting No. 62 Oregon Ducks men’s tennis duo, The Paisano sat down with UTSA men’s tennis duo Jackson Ross and Garrett Skelly. Ross and Skelly — both Texas natives — have had an amazing breakout season, extending their win total to nine following their match against Oregon. Here are six things you should know about UTSA’s men’s tennis double.

1. When did you start playing tennis? Was there a certain figure in your life that pushed you to further your career in tennis?

Skelly: “I started when I was about six. None of my family or anyone played tennis growing up, but I just loved it so much and I wanted to take it as far as I could.” 

Ross: “For me, I started when I was six years old. I was in a bunch of those summer camps with a bunch of different sports and tennis just kind of stuck. I think the reason it stuck is that I really liked the competition part of it. I was competing in other sports, basketball, football, golf, but tennis for some reason, I enjoyed the competition a lot more because it was individual. For me, to push me into a college career it was mainly my coach Micheal Castillo (head coach of Fit HP Tennis Academy). He pushed me huge into going the college route and really pushed me to go further there.”

2. Did you get to choose your doubles partner, or was it assigned?

Skelly: “I preferred to play with [Ross], plus we’ve known each other at least before college, so we kind of had a little bit of a better feeling about each other.” 

Ross: “It was kind of matched up by the coach. I think when I came here, I wanted to play with [Skelly] because we’re both from Texas, and I didn’t really put thought into playing with anyone else actually.”

3. One hand or two and why?

Skelly: “Two hand. I think it’s a lot easier actually, it’s more stable.”

Ross: “Two hand. I started playing left-handed, and then my coach switched me to right-hand because he thought it would be easier to coach, which if you know anything about tennis, starting playing left handed, you have an advantage. I dread that decision every day of my life.”

4. How is your friendship off the court?

Skelly: “We’re very close off the court. We’re both from Texas, we can connect on a different level than some of the other guys. It proves in our playing and our chemistry on the court too.”

5. Do you have a favorite pre/post-game meal? 

Ross: “Yeah, we go to this Mexican spot off Babcock after every match. When we start having this home stint of like eight or nine matches at home, we’ll go to this taqueria and we will order too much food and it’s great.”

6. Do you get the same order every time?

Skelly: “I mix it up.”

Ross: “I get the same thing every time. I get five tacos al pastor with a plate of barbacoa.”

7. What do you think winning the AAC Championship would do for the team?

Skelly: “I think it would be huge going into a new conference. We had a great year last year, this year we are finding momentum now. I think winning the conference would be just huge for the team, especially the team next year to know that we’re going to be consistently a good team.”

Ross: “It would create so much positive noise not only for our team, but for the university as well. I know tennis is not on the forefront of a lot of people’s minds in most universities, but even for a team like us who’s had an incredible season last year, like a record-breaking year, and we come this year and we go to a new, tougher conference and we’re able to win that conference. I think it would help our university but also help the team massively. And hopefully, we’re able to help future guys to believe that they can win and believe that they can make a push in a tougher conference because it’s definitely tougher than last year’s conference.”

The duo’s next match will be against Rice University at 1 p.m. Saturday at the UTSA Tennis Center.

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About the Contributors
Jake Mireles
Jake Mireles, Opinion Editor
Jake (He/Him) is a second-year political science major at UTSA. Originally from Austin, he plans to move anywhere but Texas after graduation. If he is not climbing out from under a mountain of homework, you can usually find him listening to podcasts, playing saxophone or being an avid napper. This is his third-semester writing for the Paisano and his second semester serving as the Opinion Editor. He is excited for many to come while he explores a possible career path in journalism.
Kara Lee
Kara Lee, Graphic Editor
Kara is a communication major on track to graduate in 2025. After graduating they hope to work for non-profits that specialize in environmental concerns so they can give back to the planet that provides so much for us. When Kara is not in school or working they can be found either drawing or hiking.

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