On Top of Her Game - Jillian Hurley '11

On Top of Her Game

Jillian Hurley’s love of tennis began at an early age. She has been playing since she was 11 years-old. The sport has taught Jillian to push herself both mentally and physically, and it’s shown her that with hard work, she can accomplish anything. That determination to succeed makes Jillian a star player not only on the Belles varsity tennis team, but in the Saint Mary’s community too. Here, the English literature major excels at both tennis and academics. “Saint Mary’s seemed like the perfect place to balance the two,” says the South Dakota native.

In addition to her major, Jillian is also working toward minors in secondary education and women’s studies. After graduating she plans to become a high school English teacher. She has always wanted to teach for the simple reason that she wants to share her passion for literature and writing with others. “The faculty and classes have further increased my desire to teach, while also ensuring that I am properly prepared when I do go out into the real world to educate others.”

As in tennis, Jillian strives to perform at the top of her game in the classroom. She wants to make a difference in kids’ lives and says her experiences here have empowered her to do that. “I know that in my future career and in life, I will be able to impact others because of the confidence and knowledge I gain throughout my time at Saint Mary’s,” she says.

Jillian enjoys the small and personal environment that the College provides its students. The all-women’s environment “allows more opportunities for personal growth as a woman and as a student,” she says. One of those opportunities was a chance to serve on the Junior Class Board. As part of the board, Jillian helps plan activities for the junior class such as Junior Mom’s Weekend and the Junior Class Formal.

But nothing compares to the rush that follows a well-played match. Jillian is a force to be reckoned with on the court. This month she and partner Mary Therese Lee '11 won their ninth consecutive doubles match against Alma College oponents (Check out the wrap-up here). She says, “I love knowing I not only won a match for myself, but that I also won for my Saint Mary's team.”

—Lauren DeBruce '11