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Cyclones welcome new coaches

: Alum Loke Davis formerly served as the tennis coach and is now the volleyball coach.
Alum Loke Davis formerly served as the tennis coach and is now the volleyball coach. (Kurt Loeffler)

Over the summer the athletic department welcomed two new coaches to Mills College: tennis coach Amy Jensen and soccer coach Laura VanWart. Loke Davis, previously Mills’ tennis coach, is the new volleyball coach.

VanWart is excited to share her skills and knowledge of the game. This will be her first time as head coach for a Division 3 college soccer team.

Growing up in Florida, VanWart began to play soccer at a very young age. VanWart moved to Los Altos where she continued to play soccer for Bay Area club teams. She continued her soccer career by becoming assistant coach to Division 2 Saint Mary’s College, Division 1 colleges California State University, Long Beach, and recently University of California at Berkeley.

“I love everything Bay Area,” VanWart said. “So when I saw the opening for the Mills College Head soccer coach, I immediately applied.”

Hailing from Australia, Amy Jenson is the new tennis coach as of this summer.
Hailing from Australia, Amy Jenson is the new tennis coach as of this summer. (Kurt Loeffler)

With new assistant coaches to help her out, VanWart is focusing on developing the Mills’ soccer team for the upcoming season.

“This team is wonderful,” VanWart said. “They are all great, hardworking and I enjoy coming to work everyday.”

New tennis coach Amy Jenson was born in Australia where she started playing tennis at eight years old.

“I felt tennis was magical,” Jenson said. “I remember watching older kids play and loved the challenge between the lines, racket, and flying tennis balls.”

In Australia, Jenson played in various tournaments and represented her state and country in junior tennis. After years of playing, Jenson knew her next step  was to become a tennis coach.

“I felt Mills was the perfect fit for me,” Jenson said. “D3 athletic colleges are just so harmonious. It is so easy for a sport to trap an athlete from academics and their well-being, but here students are able to succeed in athletics and desire to play.”

Jenson is enthusiastic to work with her new team. The tennis team is comprised of seven new athletes, and three returning players. She looks forward to the team’s daily improvement and leadership development.

“I love working with a blend of both experienced and inexperienced players,” Jenson said. “The experienced players show great confidence in their tennis abilities, while the inexperienced players are open and moldable.”

Former head tennis coach and Mills Alumnae of 2009, Loke Davis, comes back this year as the new volleyball coach. Originally from Hawaii, Davis started to play volleyball in the fourth grade and continued to play in high school and during her time at Mills.

Although Davis loves both tennis and volleyball, she is “cyced” (a word Davis uses to describe her Cyclone spirit) to jump back into volleyball and spread her passion for the game with her team. This year, all the volleyball players have had some form of club or high school experience. She plans to work with the team on being confident and decisive while on the court.

“For me, a big thing in sports is energy and to give the athletes tools to be confident and make their own decisions on the court,” Davis said. “I know I will be doing my job when they are making their own decisions out there.”

The athletic staff is excited to see what changes these three coaches will bring. So far faculty members and athletes have noticed positive energy spread throughout Haas Pavilion

“I think all three have a lot of energy and new ideas and they are inspiring their teams while working very hard,” said Athletic Department Compliance and Communications Coordinator Alexandria Fox.  

Both the soccer and volleyball team have started their fall seasons. The tennis team is preparing for the spring season.