THIS IS... CORONADO'S RYAN SEGGERMANCOLLEGE NEWS | USTA SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
JANUARY 26, 2023 | ANISH VISHWAKOTI
THIS IS... CORONADO'S RYAN SEGGERMANUSTA SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
JANUARY 26, 2023
SHARE THIS STORY
An Ivy League graduate from Princeton currently pursuing an MBA at North Carolina, Ryan Seggerman has made the most of his collegiate career both on and off the court. One could never guess that his highly successful career in tennis started before he was even born, as his parents met playing tennis. “It only made sense that I would try my own luck at it,” said Ryan.
It’s no surprise that Ryan first picked up a racquet at age four. Ryan’s mother played Division III tennis at Laverne and grew up playing tennis like his father. “It was a big part of their lives,” explained Ryan. “They put my sister and I into it, and my dad is a big proponent of playing a bunch of sports when you’re young.” Besides tennis, Ryan grew up playing basketball, baseball, and soccer, taking a liking to all these sports. However, when Ryan was twelve, he had to choose which one to concentrate on.
It was not an easy decision for Ryan to put all his effort solely into one sport, and despite his passion for tennis, he did have to make an adjustment. “I really missed the team aspects of those other sports,” said Ryan. “But that’s what makes tennis unique, is that it’s just you. I just had some good results when I was young, I was fired up on the sport!”
As he got older, Ryan became more aware of the fact that tennis can open up a lot of opportunities at the college level. “I wouldn’t say that it was my dream necessarily,” he said. “But when the college recruiting process started, it was a lot of fun.” Ryan had grown up in San Diego his whole life, and while he considered some California schools, the lure of the Ivy League was enough to convince him to go out to the east coast and start his collegiate career at Princeton. Seggerman entered Princeton with a competitive mindset, always focused on bettering himself and beating his opponents. He found great success, including multiple First Team All-Ivy League honors in doubles and Second Team All-Ivy League honors in singles, and a win streak this year that saw him clinch against Cornell in the ECAC tournament.
“I really feel like the team comes together a lot when you are playing in dual matches like Princeton versus Harvard,” explained Ryan. “Guys are cheering right on the sidelines so much, and it’s just a really good atmosphere. It’s just fun to be out there with the guys. You’re not necessarily thinking about winning or losing so much, but just really enjoying the whole journey with the team.”
After a stellar spell at Princeton, Ryan is currently taking his fifth year of NCAA eligibility at North Carolina while pursuing an MBA. “North Carolina is something that’s going to be a bit different,” said Ryan. “There’s a lot of emphasis on sports, so I’m excited to play for a team like North Carolina that has been a little consistently higher. And obviously I want to win the biggest tournaments!” Ryan was recently named in the top 10 of the Division 1 Men’s singles rankings, signaling that his time at North Carolina has been going well. In October, he even made it to the finals of the ITA All-American Championships with his new doubles partner, fellow graduate student Brian Cernoch.
Seggerman is not yet certain that he wants to commit to a career as a professional, citing extensive travel as one reason to consider another career. “I don’t want to go and play professionally if it really doesn’t make sense,” explained Ryan. “It’s tough to see myself hanging up the racquet after college, but I don’t want to go pro just to say I did it. I want to do it and believe that I have a chance to beat the best guys.”
“I think it’s honestly the best outlet for my competitiveness,” he said. Ryan has certainly made sacrifices to play elite tennis, and he knows he might have to make more to continue playing at a high level. “Even though I miss team sports, that is what makes tennis unique. And it’s a sport you can play for life. I don’t see myself playing it for life, I think my body will be shot in about 20 years, but we’ll give it a go!”