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Calvillo enjoying best years of her life

Javier Cortez
Senior Rebecca Calvillo hits a backhand slice.

Success is usually something that comes in the last two years of an college athlete’s career. They are more seasoned and the struggles of being an underclassman have taught them well. For senior tennis player Rebecca Calvillo, success has been with her since her first match as a Miner.

Playing tennis since the age of 3, Calvillo has had many tennis experiences prior to her college career. Calvillo has traveled all around the world and has played in some of the best junior tournaments such as the coveted Orange Bowl.

“You gain experience by playing girls all over the world,” Calvillo said. “It helped my game a lot, I was playing international girls that were overall just better players. I have played in France, Morocco, Netherlands, Germany—and overall the level is higher.”

With all the experience Calvillo gained from playing internationally, her biggest reason for success is the old adage told to her when she was young—to play with heart.

“My whole life my coaches and mother told me always to play with my heart,” Calvillo said. “That was my motivation, always give it your best and never give up. I have played all four years like this.”

Now finishing out her four-year career at UTEP, Calvillo is enjoying her best season yet. The Durango, Mexico native has a 20-11 singles record and a 22-8 doubles record with more than three weeks of tennis left in the season.

“I just want to keep winning of course and do great in conference,” Calvillo said. “It is my last year, so I would love to win at conference. I really enjoy this team, they are amazing and I have been enjoying every single match.”

It is no surprise that UTEP has provided some of the greatest years of Calvillo’s life, the cultural similarities persuaded her to play in the Sun City.

“I like El Paso because it is the most similar to my home,” Calvillo said. “Also the team had girls from all around the world, which I really liked. I also had a friend from Mexico City that played for the team so that helped.”

Calvillo is on pace to break her personal marks that she set last season as a junior. Over her four years, Calvillo has won 77 singles matches and 73 doubles matches, with a combined winning percentage of 69.4 percent.

Her success both in doubles and singles has made Calvillo an all-around player, UTEP women’s tennis head coach Myriam Sopel will be the first to tell you that Calvillo has an all-around game.

“She is good at both. She has great chemistry with her partner (Davina Meza), and in singles she always finds a way to win,” Sopel said. “She has the strength to shine both in singles and doubles, and she is definitely showing it in her senior season.”

With her doubles partner junior Davina Meza, the two have compiled a 14-3 dual match record and have won nine of their last 10 doubles matches together.

“They have been doing really well together,” Sopel said. “They have a great chemistry and they play really well together. Not only do you see that on court, but in the books with their records.”

At this point success is a given for Calvillo, whether that be in doubles or singles. Finishing her career just as she started it is important to Calvillo–which is winning.

“These four years have been amazing,” Calvillo said. “Probably the best years of my life. I don’t regret anything. Every single match, every single time I have played for UTEP I am proud of it. I want to be very successful and just keep winning.”

Javier Cortez may be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Javier Cortez
Javier Cortez, Staff Reporter
Javier Cortez is a staff reporter for The Prospector. He is a senior multimedia journalism major, with a minor in English Rhetoric. Javier was born and raised in El Paso, TX and before coming to UTEP in the summer of 2012, he graduated from Irvin High School, where he was a four-year varsity tennis player, a member of student council and a class officer for his graduating class. He has also worked for the El Paso Diablos as a sports information intern on their media relations team. In his spare time, Javier loves to write columns for the perspectives section in the school newspaper—whether it is sports, pop culture, religion, and society he loves to write about it. To go along with writing, Javier loves reading anything about sports, religion, and non-fiction.
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Calvillo enjoying best years of her life