Becky Shtilkind’s tennis career has been all about progression. Every year, she and her team continue to improve upon the previous season. Since joining the Leon M. Goldstein team as a freshman, she has played number one singles for all four years.
“It has been very tough competition from the beginning as I was playing the best player on every team,” said Becky.
Despite the tougher competition, her record as a freshman was 11-0 in the regular season and 2-0 in the playoffs. As a sophomore, she finished the season at 11-0, and continued to win going 4-0 in the playoffs. Her junior year, she was also undefeated with a record of 8-0 in the regular season and 3-0 in playoffs. This year so far, she is 5-0 bringing her overall, four-year career to a staggering 44-0.
As a freshman, she won the PSAL Championships and was one of the first freshmen to do so in many years. In the same year, the team won their division, but lost in the playoffs. In her sophomore year, the team made the finals of the city championships, and then the year after that, finally won the city championships and made the finals of the Mayor’s Cup.
Becky has won the Mayor’s Cup Sportsmanship Award twice, a testament to her character.
“Not only is she an amazing tennis player, but she is also an amazing individual,” said Leon M. Goldstein Coach Victoria D’Orazio. “It has been a pleasure watching her play for the last four years, and while I am sad to see her go, I am very excited for her taking the next step of her tennis career, and in life.”
Aside from her team, Becky trains at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center under coach Marvin Dent. She has been ranked in the top 100 in the country and top five in the Eastern Section. Off the court, Becky continues her love of sports and played for the girls volleyball team where they won the championships. Becky became the first athlete in school history to win two championships in two different sports in the same calendar year.
At the completion of her senior year, she will be attending SUNY Stony Brook on a full tennis athletic scholarship.
“The coaches are such nice, genuine people at Stony Brook and they made me feel comfortable right away,” said Becky. “I also bonded with the team instantly which played a huge role in my decision to attend there. I want to study science, biology or medicine, and Stony Brook has some of the best science programs in the country so it was really a no-brainer for me in the end.”
In four years as Stuyvesant High School’s number one singles player, Chris Jou has won 37 matches, while losing only five. This year, he finished the regular season with a record of 8-0, leading his team to a 9-3 second place finish in the tough Manhattan “A” Division.
Last year, Stuyvesant lost in the quarterfinals of the NYC PSAL Championships, and unfortunately, did not have the opportunity to participate in the Mayor’s Cup team competition. Chris did however play in the Mayor’s Cup Tournament in the doubles bracket with partner Leon Pan and they lost in the finals. They did win the PSAL Doubles Title as a pairing which gave them an invitation to play at States where they lost to the eventual finalists. This year, they are looking forward to winning the PSAL Doubles Tournament again and to have a better showing at the NYS Championships Doubles Tournament.
Aside from his high school team, Chris trains with the New York Junior Tennis League (NYJTL) at Cunningham Park Tennis Center. His highest Sectional ranking was 10th and his highest national ranking is 120th. In his spare time, he helps teach younger players in the NYJTL and will hold an office position with the NYJTL this summer. Off the court, Chris enjoys music and plays drums in the Stuyvesant jazz band.
In addition to being Stuyvesant’s top tennis player, Chris is the team’s leader both on and off the court. As co-captain the past two years, Chris has helped the younger players improve their game. Chris will be attending John Hopkins University in the fall and will be enrolled in their pre-med program, as well as play on the tennis team.
“This year, we want to win the PSAL title, the Mayor’s Cup Title, and hopefully, defeat the defending champs, Beacon, in the process,” said Chris. “I am also looking forward to the challenge of college level tennis.”
According to Stuyvesant head coach Tim Pon, “It was a pleasure having Chris on the Stuyvesant team for the past four years. I wish him the best of luck in college and I know that he will succeed in anything that he sets out to accomplish.”