Madroñal follows through on her backhand. Photo courtesy of Jeff Huehn/UTSA athletics

UTSA student, Sonia Madroñal, has developed into an impressive athlete on the tennis court. After a solid 2016 campaign, in which she only lost eight of twenty-one doubles matches, she is looking to improve on her game with every swing of her racket.

Madroñal began playing tennis at the age of five, and because of her friend, Madroñal was drawn to the sport.“My best friend from school played tennis, and I wanted to hang out with her. Two months later she quit, but I enjoyed those two months, so I asked my parents to keep going,” said Madroñal, and the rest is history.

Madroñal, a marketing major, comes from a family of three girls. She is the middle child. Her older sister went to school in Barcelona and has a double major in management and law. Her younger sister is a sophomore in high school studying marketing and advertising.“My sister wanted to be an architect her whole life, and then, suddenly she changed. She saw what I was doing and decided it is pretty cool,” said Madroñal.

Madroñal played tennis in Barcelona, and yes, “the one in Spain not the street in Oak Valley.” There, she played club tennis because her school didn’t have tennis. With everyone around her constantly commenting on her talent from the beginning, along with winning, Madroñal was looking for a place to continue her career while getting her education.“I had a teammate that texted me as soon as she knew my coach was interested and I had no doubt,” said Madroñal. “I asked to sign as soon as I could.”

Since becoming a Roadrunner, Madroñal has been named on Conference-USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll both her freshman and sophomore year. In her first three years at UTSA she has only lost 14 out of 31 doubles and has won half of every singles match. She still has her senior season to go. According to Madroñal, playing for UTSA has been a great experience.

“We are like a big family, I mean that, we can talk about anything. They are my sisters. We have a really good environment, and our coach is our go-to if we have a problem,” said Madroñal.

Off the court, Madroñal is a rounding up her degree plan and is minoring in international management. She is on track to graduate in the spring.“I want to have a career in advertising, but I wouldn’t mind doing anything with marketing or management,” said Madroñal.

In her free time, Madroñal says she likes to hang out with friends, go shopping and on occasion, catch a few waves.“My little sister surfs so when I visit her I surf sometimes.” said Madroñal.

“Honestly I wouldn’t be the person I am if I didn’t play tennis,” said Madroñal. “I would definitely not be in the U.S. Because of tennis I can be here with a full scholarship, otherwise I would just be studying at home in Barcelona as a regular student.”

This coming weekend, Madroñal and her tennis team will be traveling to San Marcos to take on the Texas State Bobcats. She will make sure to drink lots of water, get a good meal and lots of sleep the night before. She doesn’t need any pre-match rituals to take on the competition.

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