Monday, August 27, 2012

First Fall Posting - Welcome Back Whitties

Hello all,

Now that school is back (classes start tomorrow, first practice on Monday!!!), I think I'll try to do a Monday blog post to wrap up the week before.

Just because last week was not a practice or competition week did not mean campus and the courts weren't buzzing.  To start, our new light fixtures arrived and are being set up in Bratton.  Some generous donations led to the relighting project and we look forward to our already amazing indoor center being even better with brighter lights!

More importantly, it was move in week and while first years were welcomed while returning students came back to move into new living spaces or settle back into old ones.  It has been wonderful to reconnect with people after the summer and hear about their adventures on and off the court.  For our new players, there is tremendous excitement from them to begin their Whitman experience and for us to welcome this class.  As a class, they absolutely represent everything we're building in our program here.  Along with outstanding tennis and academics it is the excitement to work as a team, create something special together and improve each of their own games that makes me confident we will be an even better team this year. So, without further ado I'll briefly introduce our first year class:

Jenna Dobrin (Rio Mesa HS, Camarillo, CA) is the top ranked junior player in the class this year. With a SoCal 18's ranking of 68 and has her ranked nationally at #228 in her class and she was just named to the Prince Hot 100 list for July, these two things show that she is one of the highest ranked 2 star recruits in the country and her game is really taking off as she enters college.  Her assets to team tennis come on the court with a 80-10 singles record (they play sets in socal) and a 94-12 doubles record leading her team at Rio Mesa HS to 4 straight league championships and some great runs at the ultra competitive CIF tournament.  She is enthusiastic, caring of her team and community and is already fitting right in at Whitman.

Another California kid, Katrina Allick (University HS, San Francisco, CA) is someone who is just discovering what her tennis can be.  In recruiting her, she comes from the same coach and high performance training center as teammate Erin Minuth.  The way that Steve Jackson runs the Cal Club is a total team atmosphere and Katrina has impressed her coaches there with her increased dedication to the game over the past two seasons.  She made such an impression on my college coach during her time at his summer tennis camps that he says, "she hits a BIG ball and her ceiling is REALLY high".  With Katrina, we get great strokes, an amazing attitude and a player who has incredible potential to both play at a high level now and really grow.

Finally, we have a northwesterner, Kate Rubinstein (Catlin Gabel, Portland, OR).  I saw Kate play at PNW sectionals last year and while she lost to a very good player who is now playing D1, the tools and competitive spirit she showed caught my attention.  In following her tennis during her senior year, she worked hard with her coaches at the Leong Tennis Academy to develop these tools and learn the best ways to compete consistently with them.  Along with being a competitive champs level USTA player, Kate was integral to her high school teams success, guiding her team to to top 5 state finishes each year finishing in the top 3 of singles each year with a state singles championship!

The shared traits of this group are their enthusiasm and potential to improve.  Each will be a great asset to our team dynamic as they all have their own approach to the game and I am so thrilled to have the opportunity to coach and mentor each of them.  These are all young women with huge hearts and tremendous character, I hope you enjoy following them in their college tennis.

They also have terrific families who are very supportive of them.  It was a pleasure to see them all in Walla Walla for move in and it sounds like many families will be here the third week of September when we host the Fall USTA/ITA Regional Championships!

May the Force be with you all,


Upcoming posts
-First practice and first Whittie of the Week
-Fall Berry Picking with the Men's team
-Whitman Tennis Century Club
-Fall USTA/ITA Regionals at Whitman