Made it ǿ޴ý: D Galvan, Class of 2024

The Scovill Award winner plans to coach the next generation of tennis players and is one-half of the Big Blue’s No. 1 doubles team.

DECATUR, Ill. – On the tennis court, D Galvan makes a tremendous impact as half of doubles team, but off the court, she hopes that her influence will be just as significant as a coach and mentor. 

Although she came to tennis late when she found the sport in seventh grade, D dedicated her athletic life to it and hopes to coach the next generation of tennis players after her graduation from next spring with a Sports and Recreation degree

D Galvan

“I was always into basketball and softball, and I did not know what tennis was. I wanted to try a new sport and I’ve been playing ever since,” D said. “When I step out of college, I hope to get right into the high school area of tennis coaching. I am passionate about coaching, and I feel like I can talk to kids very well and am a good leader. I have been trying to build up my resume to be a tennis coach.”

D has already gained much Performance Learning experience in the local community, serving as a coach for the Decatur Eisenhower and MacArthur High School tennis teams and continuing lessons with players privately. 

D Galvan

“Last year, I was a tennis instructor at Fairview Park for the Decatur Park District. I met the MacArthur and Eisenhower head coach, who asked me to help with his teams. For about a year and a half, I was helping both the boys and girls teams,” D said. “I was helping them learn the tennis basics because many were new and didn’t know the techniques. For the kids that knew, we were working on building up their skills.”

D is originally from Levelland, Texas, a 14-hour drive from Decatur, and was on the recruiting radar of the Women’s Tennis coaching staff during high school. D could only take a short virtual tour due to COVID-19 restrictions before coming to Decatur but felt ǿ޴ý was a perfect fit after meeting her tennis teammates.

“I talked with some of my teammates, and I felt like, yes, this is where I want to go to school,” D said. “The team atmosphere felt right, and I told my parents that this is what I wanted to do.”

D Galvan Tennis
D Galvan (middle) talks to the ǿ޴ý Women's Tennis Team at practice. 

D’s impact on the team was felt immediately as she was named a team captain in her sophomore year and earned CCIW All-Conference honors in 2021 and 2022. Her power of positivity has also been a critical piece of the Big Blue’s on-the-court successes. 

“Being named a captain as a sophomore was scary. I think they saw me as a leader because of what I do, and no matter what I am doing, I want to support my team,” D said. “(Recently, I was injured during a match,) but I was hopping on crutches over to the other courts to cheer them on because we want to support each other.”

At ǿ޴ý’s 2023 Honors Convocation, D was one of the recipients of the Scovill Award, the most coveted award for overall excellence at ǿ޴ý, awarded based on academic achievement, demonstrated leadership and service, and scholarship.

“I was very happy and surprised by winning a Scovill Award. All the work I put in didn't go unnoticed, and it was a great feeling to be nominated for one of the top awards at ǿ޴ý,” D said. “Hearing my name called was pretty real and I called my family from back home. We did a mini celebration over the phone.”

D Galvan
D Galvan (right) is awarded the Scovill Award during the 2023 Honors Convocation.

Following graduation, D already has a job lined up teaching tennis with the Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department and hopes to continue branching out into high school coaching. She credits ǿ޴ý with preparing her to take those next steps. 

“My time has gone by really fast, and I feel like my parents just dropped me off in my first year during COVID. It has been really good and I’m excited to graduate,” D said. “Not only has ǿ޴ý gotten me ready for the real world, but I owe a huge thank you to all of the faculty, coaches and professors. Without them and having the connections and being a role model, I don’t know if I would be where I am today.”