Captain of tennis team Goldbeck shares June shooting experience

Jessica Goldbeck is the captain of the Santa Monica College women’s tennis team. She’s a big time foodie, and might even go on to play Division 1 tennis some day.

But on that dark day last June, she was just another student at SMC trying to make sense of such a heinous and sadistic act of terror.

“I wasn’t on campus thankfully, but I did receive a lot of phone calls from friends and family, they were really worried. But I wasn’t on campus, so I was saved.” said Goldbeck.

Hearing that there has been a shooting at your child’s school is a parent’s worst nightmare to put it mildly. That being said, it wouldn’t come as a surprise if Goldbeck’s, or any other student’s parents for that matter, wanted to pull their kid out of SMC, or any other campus stricken with similar events.

Goldbeck however, received much support from her friends, and family after the tragic events.

“My friends and family know SMC is a good area, and they know if I didn’t feel safe, I wouldn’t feel comfortable going here,” said Goldbeck. “But a lot of new people that I meet, they always say something along the lines of ‘oh, whoa, didn’t the shooting just happen there?’”

Events of a much lesser magnitude would compel many people to re-think their chosen path. But one characteristic of Corsairs is that they are not easily deterred.

“It was a little shocking, and scary, but when I came back, I noticed there was a lot of campus police all over the place, so it kind of felt safe,” said Goldbeck. I know SMC is a great school, and something like that could happen anywhere.”

Since the shooting, Goldbeck has led her team to an undefeated season, and is ready to transfer. Whether it’s pursuing her education, or continuing her athletic dreams, Goldbeck is ready for anything, and everything.

“I really want to continue to play tennis, but I’m not sure where. I’m thinking of CSUN or Cal State LA, or maybe UCSD. But I might stay at SMC one more year to complete some classes,” said Goldbeck.

Just like her good friend and teammate Mary Katherine Ashmore, when Goldbeck’s tennis days are over, she doesn’t see herself straying too far from the world of sports. In fact it looks like it’s going to play a big role in her future career.

“I want to major in Kinesiology, I want to do physical therapy. After I get my Bachelors in Kinesiology, I’ll go on to get my masters, and then hopefully my Ph.D in physical therapy," Goldbeck said. "I think I want to go more of the route of physical therapy, and healing.”

Goldbeck was raised to love tennis by her father. His tutelage and nudging has paid off in droves. But since stepping on to the beach side courts in Santa Monica, Goldbeck has had many other influences. One of the more noteworthy teachers has been her SMC coach Richard Goldenson.

“He’s an amazing guy. I started the first season off pretty rough, but he worked with me through it,” Goldbeck said. “During the offseason, he worked with me a lot, and I think that made all the difference with my second season without a doubt.”