Student Jason Bielski
Is Winner on Court and in Classroom
Windsor, N.J. - If there's one thing Mercer County Community
College Automotive Technology student Jason Bielski understands,
it's that hard work yields results. At 26, Bielski excels as
a college student and automotive intern at a local dealership.
And while his friends in the automotive field more typically
gravitate to sports such as hunting and fishing, Bielski has
found a second home on the tennis court, this May earning a
A member of the MCCC men's tennis team under Head Coach Marc
Vecchiolla, Bielski was one of the team's pillars this season
- playing no. 2 singles and no. 1 doubles with partner Matt
Pierson. He and Pierson won the no. 1 doubles title at the National
Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Div. III tournament
held in Plano, TX, May 10-14. Almost as impressive, Bielski
got to the final at no. 2 singles, eventually losing in three
sets. The Vikings finished fifth out of 11 teams.
Both Bielski and Pierson were named All-Americans. Based on
his stellar 3.64 GPA, Bielski was also named an Academic All-American.
Bielski had already been to nationals with the Vikings in 2008
in the no. 5 spot, an experience, he says, that helped him handle
the pressure this time around. "I decided if I was going
to lose, it was going to be because the other player beat me,
not because of my mistakes. Nerves did not play a part in the
results." In his earlier appearance, Bielski lost in the
semifinal round in both singles and doubles.
Taking a break from team tennis in 2009, Bielski focused on
practicing his game, and rejoined the Vikings a vastly improved
player this year, according to Vecchiolla. "His intensity
on the court is visible. He expects a lot from himself. He battles
for every ball," Vecchiolla said. "He is a joy to
coach and a really good guy."
While a force to be reckoned with on the court, Bielski always
tries to be gentleman. "I have a shared passion with anyone
who loves tennis. Winning or losing, I try to be a nice guy.
It goes both ways," he says.
In addition to Vecchiolla, Bielski credits numerous others with
contributing to his game. His father Carl is an avid tennis
player, and started his son off with lessons at the age of 6.
They have played together regularly, surrounded by a circle
of historically big names in local tennis - Marty Devlin, Stan
Dlugosz, (MCCC's former head coach), Scott Stoner and others.
during a match at Mercer County Park
in MCCC's auto shop with
Associate Professor Fred
notes those matches are likely to continue, as his dad just finished
building a tennis court in the backyard of their Ewing home. "He
keeps doing things to improve life for our family."
Bielski says his dad is definitely proud of his performance at nationals.
"He understands that it's a huge accomplishment. As a player,
he appreciates what it takes both mentally and physically to compete
at that level."
Tennis is not the only pursuit this father and son share. Bielski
has also followed his father, a retired GM worker, into the automotive
field. It's a decision he made with the goal of landing a job upon
graduation. He notes that with its 1200-hour internship requirement,
Mercer's Comprehensive Automotive Technology Program is designed
to do just that.
Bielski says Program Coordinator Fred Bassini and instructor Jason
Evans have given him excellent preparation. "In the shop and
in the classroom, they really try to give us as much information
as they can in the time they have with us." He notes that the
college's auto shop looks like the real thing, with a large inventory
of cars for students to work on. "You can break something and
then you can fix it. I am definitely getting the understanding and
hands-on experience I need."
Apparently, the Princeton Honda dealership where Bielski has worked
since last August agrees. He says they are eagerly awaiting his
graduation from Mercer later this month so that he can start work
full time. He adds that he is grateful to them for giving him the
needed time off this spring to concentrate on tennis.
Bielski clearly sees the value of his profession. "Everybody
drives a car to work. We're the ones that keep it going round and
round," he says. "And, if you consider that mechanics
are to cars as physicians are to the human bodies, then we're the
ones making sure the physician can get to work," he says with
Reflecting the work ethic that has brought him both tennis and career
success, Bielski says, "I try to take in what I learn and use
it. I always want to become better. I don't shut any doors. I keep
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