Athlete Profile: Andrea Dunn


Courtesy Andrea Dunn

Athlete Profile: Andrea Dunn

By Assistant Sports & Health

ANDREA DUNN, A sophomore art + design major, began playing tennis when she was 4 years old. Her dad and sisters played throughout their lives, which is what led Dunn to pick up a racket. Dunn had to make a tough decision between art and sports during her senior year of high school. She had to choose which college gave her the best opportunity to grow as both an artist and an athlete. Ultimately, she chose Columbia. The Orland Park, Illinois-native said her future lies either in illustration or graphic design. Outside of art, Dunn has become co-captain of the Renegades tennis team, which was established in the Spring 2013 semester. With the new team, Dunn has been focused on managing classes and re- cruiting committed players.

The Chronicle spoke with Dunn about her adjustment to college, her drive for tennis and her expectations for the new Renegades team.

THE CHRONICLE: How have you adjusted to Columbia?

ANDREA DUNN: I love Columbia because everyone has a passion for their art and there is always something to do here. It’s nice to be able to go to the courts at Grant Park and play with the city right behind you.

What expectations do you have for the tennis team this year?

I have big expectations since we are just starting out. Last year, we weren’t able to get into a league because we were still trying to build a team. This year, we are on the way to getting a pretty big team, having a lot of committed players, getting into a league and playing with schools around the city.

How do you balance being a student and an athlete?

It’s a lot of hard work, especially being the co-captain and trying to start up a team that is very new at this school. I would compare it to managing your own business. You have to get everyone participating, scheduling events and organizing the team as a whole. It’s a lot of work, but since I was on my team in high school, it has been natural to set aside time for school and also to play tennis.

What has been your biggest obstacle and how did you overcome it?

My senior year, right before our sectional tournament, I had a pretty bad knee injury. I dislocated the cartilage around my meniscus. It was very painful for a long time, and I ended up losing in sectionals. I focused on trying to get better, and even though my goal was to make it to state that year, I knew it wasn’t likely because of the injury. [But] I stayed positive.

What advice do you have for young female athletes?

I would tell them not to give up on their sport no matter what. I wanted to go to an art school, but I didn’t want to give [tennis] up, so I decided to come to Columbia, where they offered both. Even if somehow down the road you get stuck, try the best you can to incorporate playing your favorite sport in your life, whether it’s just with friends or making an effort to start up your own team. Never give it up.

Who are your role models and how have they helped contribute to the success in your life?

My role models are my older sisters and my parents. I was always very close to my sisters. I always looked up to them, and they’re always looking out for me, so I really appreciate [their support].

What are your thoughts on Serena Williams winning another title?

Ever since I was little, I would always follow Serena and Venus [Williams], and [watching her win now] kind of makes me feel old.

Do you plan on pursuing tennis as a professional career?

Unfortunately, I do not. But I plan on playing it [for] the rest of my life whether with friends or in a league.