Catching Up With ... Kyla Scott (CMS Women's Tennis Class of 2018)
As a follow-up to our Championship Memories Saturday feature, where current CMS student-athletes look back on the championships they have won during their collegiate athletic careers, we will be occasionally be conducting a question and answer session with recent alumni from those title teams, as they too discuss their memories, as well as how their experiences as student-athletes have helped prepare them for life after college.
Our latest CMS Alumni q+a is with Kyla Scott, one of the seniors on the 2018 CMS Women's Tennis team, which won the program's first national title (Saturday's feature story). Scott came up big for the Athenas in a narrow 5-4 win over Emory at the Biszantz Family Tennis Center in the championship match to help keep the trophy in Claremont, capturing a doubles win (8-3) with Juliette Martin and then taking a three-set win in singles. An engineering major at Harvey Mudd, she is now working as a mechanical engineer for research and development at Masimo, a medical device company in Irvine, helping to create sensors for use in hospitals.
Read below to catch up with Kyla Scott, her memories of her CMS Tennis experience, and the start of her life after college.
CMS: How much did winning that national title mean to you as a senior, being able to go out on top?
KS: I honestly could not have hoped for a more satisfying conclusion to a tennis career. My timing really was perfect; I started my freshman year just as Dave (Schwarz) became head coach, watched our team improve and grow, and ended with a national championship. What could be better than that?
CMS: How fortunate do you feel to be able to end your career the way you did, winning a national title on your home court … and over a rival Emory team that had beaten you in the semis twice?
KS: I definitely think that being able to compete on our home courts with friends and family cheering us on gave us the momentum over the course of that week to get us the win. As far as our experience with Emory, they were consistently a great team, but that last season, we could have beaten each other on any given day. We were just fortunate the national finals happened to be our day. I am so proud to have been a part of that day and everything that led up to it, it will always be one of my fondest memories.
CMS: What is your favorite memory from the championship that you think you will always keep with you?
KS: Honestly the whole day is just kind of a blur of strong emotions. Even now, thinking back in too much detail makes me a little emotional. I think if I had to pick one memory, it would be playing my last doubles match with my partner, Juliette Martin. I was just so fired up and had so much fun during that match, despite being incredibly nervous leading up to it. When Juliette and I won our match, I could finally dare to hope that we could actually take home the title.
CMS: What are you doing now?
KS: I work in mechanical engineering R&D at a medical device company called Masimo. I work on designing, redesigning, and testing sensors for use in hospitals.
CMS: How was Harvey Mudd able to prepare you for life after college?
KS: Mudd was extremely challenging at times, but I think one thing that has been really valuable for me was learning how to prioritize what I have to do and to realize when I have to let things go. I think it would be really hard to get through Mudd without learning to be okay with a little failure.
CMS: What lessons did you learn from playing tennis that you hope to keep with you during your professional career?
KS: Playing tennis at CMS helped me a lot with my confidence and discipline. Confidence because I had to step into more of a leadership role than I had ever really taken before to try to be a role model for my teammates, and discipline because just playing at that level while balancing academics is never going to be easy.