My Oh Maya: Maya Jansen wins national title, keeps mood light for teammates

My Oh Maya: Maya Jansen wins national title, keeps mood light for teammates

Junior Maya Jansen has been successful since coming to Alabama to play tennis. CW | Pete Pajor

Terrin Waack

Although she played both volleyball and tennis at the national level starting at the age of 13, Jansen chose tennis in the end and has had much success since she has come to Alabama. She knew it would eventually come to a point where she would have to choose between the two.

“I just picked tennis because it was so much more of a challenge for me,” Jansen said. “I’m out there by myself, and I’ve always enjoyed that moment.”

Enjoying that moment has brought Jansen a long way. In Alabama’s recent Blue Gray National Tennis Classic, Jansen was named the 2015 Blue Gray Classic MVP. Commanding, confident, poised and disciplined are just some of the words coach Jenny Mainz used to describe Jansen’s tennis play.

Mainz and teammate Erin Routliffe both believe that Jansen is the same person on the court as she is off.

“We laugh a lot because she’s a middle child, and I’m a middle child,” Mainz said. “She has to fight for her way, since a lot of the time the middle child is like the forgotten child. We joke about it a lot that she has to kick, scream, fight and bite to get noticed.”

Jansen is a fighter and loves to feel under pressure but at the same time, she is seen as the jokester of 
the team.

“Oh gosh, she loves the loud music,” Mainz said.

Before each match, Jansen loves to use the team’s speakers and jam to music. “Fancy” is her go-to song, and she admits that she can rap every word in it. When she isn’t singing, she likes to talk in accents: British, valley girl and Southern.

“I’m a professional at different accents,” Jansen said. “Sometimes when I don’t know what to say, I just say it in an accent and people kind of forget about it then.”

Someone all too familiar with Jansen’s humor would be Routliffe. Not only are they teammates, doubles partners and NCAA doubles champions, but Routliffe also considers Jansen her best friend. She loves being Jansen’s doubles partner and enjoys their time on and off the court together.

“When we’re on the tennis court, we make this joke that we wish had microphones on our mouths,” Routliffe said. “Some of the things we say are so ridiculous. We’d joke that we could be our own reality TV show.”

All jokes aside, Jansen has loved her time at Alabama thus far – just as much as she loves her Starbucks which she cannot go a day without, Mainz said. Her beverage of choice: non-fat latte. Her love for her dog Speckles may come out on top though. She’s more than excited that he’s coming to visit Thursday.

Women’s tennis hosts Georgia at 5 p.m. Friday and Tennessee at 1 p.m. Sunday.