NCAA Womens Tennis

HUSKY SPOTLIGHT: CATHERINE GAGNON – University of Washington Athletics

HUSKY SPOTLIGHT: CATHERINE GAGNON - University of Washington Athletics

Catherine Gagnon, a freshman from Quebec, Canada, spent her early years practicing gymnastics before realizing at the age of five that her heart was in tennis. 

Gagnon’s father, she noted, was the one who introduced her to the sport and to this day is one of her biggest inspirations. 

“I don’t want to give too much credit to my parents, but I want to give credit where it’s due,” Gagnon joked. “The way my parents raised me, the values they gave me and instilled in me every day — I really think that’s why I ended up here (at UW).”

“When I think of role models, I think of my parents,” Gagnon added. “The work they put in day in and day out just for me to be able to play tennis and travel and play all these competitions — I am so grateful. My sisters have played a big role in my life too because they’ve always been there to support me. When I’m going through a rough patch, the first people I think of are my sisters. I know they’ll find a way to make me feel better.”


Coming from a family of girls — two sisters and three step sisters — maintaining the support of her family is so important for Gagnon, both as a support system and a motivator to continue to work hard. 

Having parents who trusted her while she chose a college and sisters who are there through thick and thin, being away from home for the first time has been an adjustment for the freshman. 

“I’ve developed a new family here at UW to fill that void a little bit which has been really good,” Gagnon said. 

Gagnon clicked with the tennis team instantly on her visit to Seattle and, as a self-proclaimed good judge of character, knew that this was the chosen family she wanted to spend her time with on the court. 

Gagnon has fellow freshman Alexia Jacobs to thank, as Jacobs helped convince Gagnon — who was set to start college in 2024 — to come to UW a year early. 

The Canadian duo played many tournaments together during their junior careers, giving them plenty of opportunities to spend time together and get to know one another off the court. 


“Catherine is such a special individual and we are so lucky that she was able to join us a year early,” Head Coach Robin Stephenson said. “She is so positive and such a hard worker and goes about things the right way. She is eager to get better everyday and brings an intensity and joy to the courts that lifts everyone up around her. 

“Her communication during the recruiting process…

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