Student-Athlete Profile: Spencer McCleery

Name: Spencer McCleery

Grade: 12

Sport: Tennis


1. When did you start playing Tennis? What got you interested?

I came from a big tennis family. My dad and my mom both played when they were younger, so I kind of grew up with it and they taught me how to play. I took lessons when I was really young and then I stopped playing for a while, but then once I got to Hamden Hall for middle school, I started playing again just to do a spring sport and I picked it up again.


2. What’s your favorite part about playing tennis?

I would say the net game, like volleys and stuff like that. I really like to hit the ball pretty hard so that’s definitely the most fun part. But other than that, I like doubles, [since] having a partner and coordinating with somebody on the court is pretty cool too.

Side comment: I just play at net. My game is pretty one dimensional (In tennis, most specifically doubles, when you are playing with a partner, one player tends to play close to the net and one plays near the baseline in the back of the court.)


3. Do you have any cool shots or anything cool you can do?

I have a serve where I slice it from the baseline and it’s pretty nasty. Don’t mean to brag but, it’s not very effective because the person can usually get to it but it looks sort of cool.


4. How much work have you put into this sport, like is it just a spring season thing or is it year round?

It’s usually a spring season thing, sometimes I will play a little bit in the summer, but I mostly just do it as a spring sport because I also do soccer and swimming throughout [the] school[year].


5. Do you plan on playing tennis in College?

I don’t, maybe at the club level but definitely not varsity or anything but we’ll see.


6. What do you want to accomplish in the future? Do you want to continue playing all of your life, and is tennis a priority for you over different sports?

I wouldn’t say tennis is a huge priority for me, it has mostly been a fun thing but definitely I would like to continue team sports and playing as a team. I also want to go into the military when I’m older so I guess that applies as a team.


7. What is your crowning achievement while playing tennis?

The match I’m most proud of is probably the singles match I played against Hopkins my sophomore year. I got absolutely blown out in 2 sets but it was my first time playing singles and it required a lot of work to hang in there and keep the match going.


8. Finally, what has tennis been like during COVID? What has it been like for you and how are you going around it?

I think everybody is still getting used to the masks, like pulling it down or keeping it on. Other than that, tennis is one of the best sports [during] COVID because it's very socially distant. But the Boys tennis team always does a lot of stuff with food, like we always get a ton of snacks for all of the matches, so I would say that that has been a little bit different.

Sophie: Yeah, it sucks. It’s hard not having pizza parties or snacks during matches when you get hungry.

Spencer: It's very hard, it's disappointing.. It was one of the best parts!


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