My College Combine:
An Ace for Recruitment
Erin Maher | June 22, 2018
From June 18-21, the nation’s top high school players will descend upon the USTA National Campus in Orlando, Fla., for a chance to show off their skills in front of college coaches in the USTA All-American College Combine presented by adidas. Throughout the event, USTA.com follows second-time participant Sophia Edwards as she returns to the combine in hopes of fulfilling her dream of becoming a collegiate tennis player.
When first asked what the biggest draw of participating in the USTA All-American College Combine was, rising high school junior Sophia Edwards said, without any hesitation, “Oh, I definitely want to win that main-draw wild card into a Pro Circuit tournament.”
Four days later, Edwards did just that. After Edwards paired up with Amber Fuller on Wednesday in doubles, the partners found themselves standing across from each other as opponents the next day in the girls' final.ADVERTISEMENT
The final “Shootout” saw Edwards take the match, and the main-draw wild card, 4-2, in the final.
The Combine afforded Edwards four days of fitness testing and preparation, match play against competitive opponents and plenty of exposure to college coaches looking to recruit. Most importantly, she learned the value of sportsmanship, a trait that will serve her well in college, and beyond.
“Players lose to each other all the time. You see the same people over and over,” said Edwards after her win on Thursday. “Amber and I had met on the first day at the Combine, then we played each other twice, then we played doubles together and warmed up together almost every day. There are a lot of friendships that are built, and it’s good to get used to competing against someone, and still remain friends with them.”
After participating in her second Combine, Edwards is confident about the recruitment process and hoping to find herself committed to a college by the end of this fall.
The USTA All-American College Combine, only in its second year, was well-received by participants, and the USTA is already looking forward to next year.
"We had an ambition to build the 2018 Combine into a very memorable event, and it certainly appears as though we succeeded," said USTA College Combine Tournament Director Brian Ormiston. "The feedback we have already received has been very positive. We even have a number of players who could not participate in the field this year anxious to sign up for next year. "
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