Skip To Main Content
Principia College Logo
“Always Ready”: College Tennis Coach Carney is National Champion

In today’s parlance, you might say Shannon Carney “stays ready.” After a hiatus and multiple interruptions to her competitive schedule, the Principia College director of tennis, head women’s tennis coach, and associate professor of physical education won the 2023 USTA National Senior Women’s 65 Singles and Doubles Championships in October.

For Carney, 2023 was a comeback of sorts. After an injury the previous year, Carney centered her prayerful recovery on the idea that ‘divinity is always ready.’ “For the National Championships, I focused on being present in the moment,” she explains. “In the middle of the match, the statement [adapted from James 1:17] came to mind: ‘there is no variableness’ in ability or play.”

In the Singles finals, Carney bested Patricia Purcell, a highly ranked St. Louis-based tennis pro. “Pat said, ‘in the first nine games, you didn’t miss a shot!’” Carney recalls. Then the two opponents teamed up in the Doubles tournament. “We had never played together in a tournament or match. It was all about coming together, trusting each other, and knowing what each other could do. We were seeded second and we beat the first seeds in the finals.”

Next up, Carney hopes to make the national Masters team and compete in international tournaments. “You need to be ready mentally, physically, and spiritually,” she says. “It’s an opportunity and an arena to demonstrate and practice our unlimited God-given abilities.”