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College Spotlight: Allie Will, University of Florida

February 14, 2011 02:53 PM
Florida sophomore Allie Will
Allie Will is pumped up during a match.
Team USA, including Allie Will (fourth from left) in Rouen, France, for the Master'U competition.
Allie Will, a sophomore at the University of Florida, is currently ranked No. 7 in the ITA Division I Women's National Rankings. Will, from Boca Raton, Fla., had an outstanding freshman season, in which she received All-America honors in both singles and doubles and was voted the SEC Freshman of the Year. She posted 48 singles wins in 2010, fourth most in Gator history, and she became the first Florida freshman to win 40-plus singles matches since 1995. Will, who represented the United States at the Master'U international collegiate competition in France in December, recently spoke to USTA.com about her goals for the season, rivalries in the SEC, her experience in France and much more.

USTA.com: What are your goals for yourself and for your team this season?

Allie Will:
For our Gator team, the goal is to make it one step further than we did last year. We have an amazing group of girls, and we challenge each other every day and have a blast doing it. We are all so thrilled that the team matches have begun. It is a great feeling to have the support of your teammates, coaches and the city of Gainesville. My goals for myself are to work hard every day and keep trying to improve.

USTA.com: After falling in last year’s final to Stanford, do you think you and your team are hungrier than ever?

Allie Will:
Losing the final to Stanford was very difficult, but it was an amazing match, and I hope that at some point it won’t sting as much as it still does. So I guess you could say that those of us who were a part of that experience are quite hungry to get the chance to compete for a National Championship again. However, there are so many great teams, and I think it is really important not to look past the next opponent on the schedule. 

USTA.com: There are a lot of great rivalries in the SEC. Which match do you look forward to the most?

Allie Will:
You are so correct about the SEC and its rivalries. There is so much passion and pride from every school in the conference. It can get very heated and emotional, both on the courts and in the stands. I look forward to the challenge of every SEC match, but my favorite one will hopefully be when we repeat as SEC champs.

USTA.com: In December, you were a member of the U.S. team that traveled to Rouen, France, for the Master’U international collegiate event. Tell us a little bit about the team and coaches and about the experience of representing your country abroad. 

Allie Will:
The Master’U event was one of the highlights of my tennis experiences. It was such an honor and a privilege to be a part of the team, and representing the USA was an amazing feeling. Coach Patton and Coach Guilbeau were fantastic, and they were both so energetic and enthusiastic. It was wonderful getting to know them. We all had so much fun and, in the words of Coach Patton, became "One Big Happy Family." The city of Rouen was lovely, and we met many wonderful people and players from other countries.

USTA.com: Was it fun to play alongside Maria Sanchez and Kristy Frilling, players you normally compete against?

Allie Will:
It was so much fun being their teammate and getting to know both of them better. We had a lot of laughs, and they are wonderful girls and great tennis players. I look forward to seeing them sometime this season.

USTA.com: Florida is a big school with a variety of majors and academic concentrations. What is your favorite class? How do you balance your time between tennis and school?

Allie Will:
Last semester, I took a geology class that I really enjoyed. I also have enjoyed my communication and English courses. I think one of the most valuable lessons I have learned since becoming a Gator is how to be better at time management. Each day is challenging, both in the classroom and on the court, and a lot of times I wish there were more hours in a day. You do what you have to do and stay on top of things and just realize that occasionally you will suffer from sleep deprivation.

USTA.com: What advice do you have for junior tennis players who want to play in college?

Allie Will:
I would tell them to keep working hard, both in the classroom and on the courts, so they can have the privilege of playing college tennis.


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