BYU women’s tennis head coach Lauren Jones-Spencer watches from the sideline as her sister, junior player Mayci Jones warms up before her match. Their mother, Cindy Jones, watches from the stands and cheers them on with the help of her two grandchildren.
There is a passion for tennis in the Jones family.
“My mom always loved tennis,” Lauren said.
Although Cindy has always enjoyed tennis, she only started playing as a recreational player after she had her third child.
From a very young age, Lauren watched her mom play and had a desire to follow in her footsteps. Mayci followed suit and Lauren described it as a “trickle-down effect.”
Lauren and Mayci have a unique situation being sisters on the same team. While some would struggle having a family member as a coach, Mayci said she thoroughly enjoys it.
“It’s really nice to have her on the court with me,” Mayci said. “She talks to me as a sister and as a coach at the same time.”
Lauren echoed the sentiments of her sister and described the experience of coaching her as a “fun” one.
Lauren became BYU’s head coach in 2010 after being assistant coach from 2008-2010, and Mayci joined the BYU team in 2013.
Mayci had a 6-12 singles record and a 8-7 doubles record this season. She was influential in the late-season surge of the Cougars when she clinched her singles match on April 16 against Loyola Marymount, giving the Cougars a 4-3 win.
In addition to having tennis-related responsibilities, Lauren and Mayci are both mothers. Lauren has a 2-year-old daughter named Presley and Mayci has a 7-month-old son named Hudson. While it’s difficult for Mayci to juggle the life of a student, athlete and mother, she says she does it all for her son.
“He’s what motivates me more than anything else,” Mayci said.
Hunter and Presley went to almost every tennis match this season with Cindy. While it sounds like babysitting, Cindy wouldn’t rather do anything else. She loves to connect with her grandchildren now that her own kids are grown.
“I could hardly stand sending my kids off to school,” Cindy said. “Every moment of my life was dedicated to being a mom. Being a mother is the greatest thing ever.”
Like most mothers, Cindy would get nervous watching her daughters, wanting them to succeed on the court. She said she was grateful that her grandchildren calmed her nerves during matches as she watched them.
But while Cindy is grateful for the kids, her kids are even more grateful for her.
Lauren said her mother is the “definition of selfless” and Mayci said her mother believes in her more than she does in herself.
“My mom is so supportive of me,” Mayci said. “She believes in me so much, more than I do in myself. It’s so great to have such a great support behind my back to always lift me up.”