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MTSU Tennis Player Shu Matsuoka Emerges as Breakout Star

By MTN Sports Reporter: Max Ackerman

MURFREESBORO, TN – In a surprising turn of events, Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) tennis player Shu Matsuoka has taken the spotlight as a breakout player, earning admiration not just for his on-court prowess but also for his personal growth and humble demeanor. 


Associate Head Coach Andrea Caligiana shared insights into Shu’s character, describing him as a “great guy” who exudes respect and honesty. Caligiana also emphasized Shu’s humility, stating that he dislikes attention despite his remarkable achievements on the tennis court. The coaching staff at MTSU expressed their enjoyment in spending time with him and witnessing his transformation.  


“When he first arrived, he was very quiet and shy. However, he has matured a lot and is coming out of his shell,” Caligiana remarked. “Now, he talks a lot and is always part of the conversations. We love spending time with him!” 

Matsuoka shed light on his rigorous training routine, detailing his commitment to individual training twice a week in the mornings, in addition to the team practices from Monday to Thursday from 1-4 PM. A unique aspect of Shu’s experience at MTSU is that he is the only player on the tennis team from Japan, bringing a different cultural perspective to the team. Despite the cultural differences, Shu emphasized the strong bond he shares with his teammates, describing them as “great friends.” 


Shu’s journey to MTSU was facilitated by his connection with Head Coach Jimmy Borendame. Impressed by Borendame’s approach to coaching, Shu decided to join the MTSU tennis program. Borendame’s coaching philosophy and the camaraderie within the team played a pivotal role in Shu’s decision to become a Blue Raider. 


In a statement, Shu shared, “I like the way Coach Borendame approaches the players. It creates a positive environment for everyone to improve and succeed.” He also highlighted his resilience on the court, emphasizing his refusal to give up, even when facing challenging situations such as being down sets during a match. 


As Shu Matsuoka continues to make a name for himself in the collegiate tennis scene, his story serves as an inspiration to aspiring players, showcasing the importance of hard work, perseverance, and a positive team environment. MTSU tennis fans eagerly anticipate Shu’s continued success on the court and the impact he will undoubtedly have on the team’s overall performance.  

Photo Credits: MT Athletics


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