A few years after he left an indelible mark on the Hand boys’ tennis program, Scott Rubinstein is racking up the accolades on the tennis court in college.
Scott, a 2014 Hand graduate, helped the Tigers claim two SCC crowns and a pair of state titles, while making both All-Conference and All-State during each of his four years at the high school. Now competing for Emory University in Atlanta, Scott recently put together a tremendous junior season that saw him earn All-American honors for the second year in a row, in addition to helping the Eagles win the NCAA Division III national championship.
“It was a big achievement to be All-American last year as a sophomore, but I cared more about the team. We lost in the semis, so I still wanted more. That hunger and grit drove me,” says Scott. “It was great to win that national title, which made this year’s All-American award that much sweeter. I didn’t want to leave any rock unturned.”
Scott has played both singles and doubles for all three seasons at the collegiate level. During the recent campaign, Scott posted a record of 8-3 on the singles circuit to go with a mark of 21-11 in doubles. For his career, Scott is tied for 25th place on Emory’s all-time doubles wins list with 54 victories.
Scott says that singles and doubles provide their own specific environments, but adds that he likes the way he gets mentally tested from participating in each of those endeavors.
“Doubles is a more intense atmosphere. There’s more energy, and it’s a faster pace,” Scott says. “You are on your own on the court in singles, plus it’s six courts versus three, and you don’t have someone to bounce ideas off of. You have to compose yourself, and it’s a challenge to drown out the noise in your head, but I enjoy that.”
While Scott certainly faced his fair share of stiff competition when competing for Hand, he’s been locked in even more rigorous battles between the baselines since stepping on to the college court. As a result, Scott knows that he always has to be on his game with both his brains and brawn in order to see success at this elite level.
“The depth of teams in high school versus college is night and day. Every time you face someone, you’ll face a good opponent. There are no pushovers, and you have to be focused for every point,” Scott says. “The pace is also different in college. There’s always someone hitting the ball as hard as you. It’s about who’s mentally tougher and more determined.”
Hand boys’ tennis Head Coach Dawn Fagerquist and Scott came into the Tigers’ program together. Fagerquist says that Scott always embodied the characteristics that make her enjoy coaching so much.
“As a high school coach and tennis pro, we see a lot of kids come through. I became a coach because there is no other feeling quite like helping young athletes develop their natural persistence, work ethic, connection with, and respect for others. Scott Rubinstein had shown that during his four years at Hand,” says Fagerquist. “I started at Hand when Scott was a freshman, and he made my four years with him exciting. I watched him grow into a gentleman and probably one of the best players ever to graduate.”
A business major with a concentration in finance, Scott says that he doesn’t plan to continue playing tennis competitively beyond college. In terms of his accomplishments at Emory, Scott knows that the time he spent with the Tigers played a huge hand in fueling his fire for victory.
“I love tennis, and I’ll see it through to my graduation, but I won’t pursue anything competitively after college,” says Scott, who thanks his parents, Jodi and Michael, along with Emory’s men’s tennis Head Coach John Browning and all of his teammates. “Growing up in Madison, playing for Hand meant a lot. To bring championships back to Madison was a great feeling. I loved the team aspect, and the camaraderie was great.”