He always belonged to the top-5 players in his age group in the Netherlands, has 1 ITF single title and 3 ITF double titles to his name, reached the semi-finals at the NK U18 and has recently become part of the tennis team at Sacramento State as a college tennis player. We’re talking about tennis talent Liam Liles.

Liam obtained his high school diploma at the Thorbecke in Rotterdam, which after years of hard work on the tennis court made him ready for an adventure as a College Tennis Player in the USA. He is part of the group of student-athletes at Sacramento State called “The Hornets.” The tennis team that Liam is part of plays in Division I and has, since its existence, won the Big Sky Conference title 12 times and entered the NCAA National Championships 10 times.

In addition to working hard on Sacramento State’s hardcourt tennis courts and growing as a tennis player, Liam is also working hard in school and does a major in Business Administration. In this article we’re going to talk about Liam’s new home base. Below he explains why his choice fell on Sacramento State:

“I chose CSU Sacramento because my way of living and training fits perfectly in their program. Their vision for a better and stronger team also fits mine. I am certain I will develop myself as a person as well as a tennis player.”

Liam Liles – Student-athlete

Want to know more about this university in California? Keep reading!


As you can read in Liam’s quote, the university is also called ‘CSU Sacramento’. CSU stands for California State University, a public university system made up of 23 different universities across California. They all operate independently, and Sacramento State is one those universities. With nearly 30,000 students, Sacramento State is one of the largest universities within the CSU system.

Sacramento State – Campus

Sacramento is the capital of California. The city has half a million inhabitants and is quite centrally located in the state. That’s why a visit to San Francisco or Lake Tahoe is easy to do from the campus. As in every university spotlight, we zoom in on the most interesting part of the campus: the athletic facilities!

The ‘Hornet Stadium’ is the stadium where the athletics teams train and compete. It is a huge stadium with seating for more than 21,000 fans! It is one of the largest athletic stadiums in the conference, which is why it has been used for the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships for four times. You can see part of the stadium, with cheerleaders, below.

Hornet Stadium – Sacramento State

‘The Nest’ is the stadium for basketball, volleyball and gymnastics competitions. It offers seating for 1012 people. You can see the stadium below!

‘The Nest’ – Sacramento State

The John Smith Field has been part of the university since 1953 but was renovated in 2002. There is room for 1200 people and is used for the baseball games.

John Field Smith – Sacramento State

Besides the above 3 facilities, there are many more sports facilities at the university, including the tennis courts where Liam trains, ‘Hornet Beach’ for the beach volleyball matches, the ‘Hornet’ soccer field, the ‘Shea stadium’ for softball & much more! You check all facilities on the facilities page.

Want to see more of the campus? Check out the campus tour below that the university made last year!


The Sacramento State Hornets, that is the full name for the student-athletes at Sacramento State. In total there are 19 different teams with student-athletes, of which 11 women’s teams and 8 men’s teams. There are both men’s and women’s teams in basketball, golf, soccer, tennis, track and field and cross country. Beyond that, there are men’s teams in baseball and american football. There are also women’s teams in volleyball, beach volleyball, rowing, softball and gymnastics.

All teams participate in Division I, the highest division within College Sports. Participation takes place within various conferences. Mainly within the Big Sky Conference, but also in the Western Athletic Conference (baseball), American Athletic Conference (rowing) and Big West Conference (volleyball & football).

The teams are encouraged during competitions by the ‘Sac State Cheer’, the group of cheerleaders. But mascot ‘Herky the Hornet’ is also present at major sports competitions to encourage the Hornets.

Herky the Hornet leds the team onto the field

The encouragement is given by, among other things, singing the fight song.
The Hornet’s Nest is the best in the west by test! Check out some of the lyrics below.

Fight on, Sacramento State, Fight on to victory.
The Hornet is on the wing.
The foe will know that we will show them
We were meant for fame and glory.
All the world will know
The Hornet’s nest is the best in the west by test!
Sacramento State, Lets’ Go!!!

Men’s tennis team – Sacramento State

In total, the Sacramento State Hornets competed 54 times in the NCAA National Championships, but did not manage to win one yet. However, a total of 3 Hornets have won the NCAA Individual Championship in the history of the school. The teams won the Conference title a total of 54 times, the team that won the most Conference titles is the men’s tennis team of which Liam is now part!

In many different sports, the university has a great rivalry with the University of California, Davis. The universities are closely based to each other and therefore often cmopete against each other. The rivalry between the American Football teams is called the ‘Causeway Classic’, which got this name because the schools are connected to each other via the ‘Yolo Causeway bridge’. See a video below with Causeway Classic Highlights!

Want to see more about the Hornets? Check out their athletic page!


Studying, that too happens at Sacramento State. After all, that is the second thing that makes a student-athlete, a student-athlete. Liam is studying Business Administration, but there are also many other studies to follow at the university. You can find an overview of all courses via this link. The most popular studies are:

  • Business Administration
  • Communications
  • Psychology
  • Biology
  • Criminal Justice
  • Computer Science
  • Nursing

Did you know….

  • 1/20 adults living in the Sacramento area is a Sac State alumni?
  • a total of 1083 employees work at the university?
  • the average class consists of 27 students?
  • student-athletes at Sac State have a higher GPA on average than normal students?
  • 19 student athletes achieved a GPA of 4.0 in 2020?
  • at an American graduation ceremony you always get a ‘cap and gown’ like the picture below?
Graduation Day – Sacramento State

Do you, just like Liam, want to become a student-athlete in the USA? Reach out, we will help you!