Expectations coming into this season were high for Allie Scott, a junior standout on the Pusch Ridge Christian girls tennis team.
So far she's lived up to the hype, winning all but one of her matches, the lone loss coming to Sabino's ace, Susanna Studwell. With Scott at the No. 1 spot, the Lions have worked their way to a 9-1 record.
"It's been a joy to coach Allie and watch her grow as a player," said David Towne, head coach of both the boys and girls teams. "She's really focused on tennis, and you can see the results. As a coach, it's great to have a player like her leading the way for our team."
Scott made an early mark at Pusch Ridge, placing third in the individual state competition in her freshman and sophomore years. She also helped lead her team to a state title her freshman year and a second-place finish last year.
Earlier this week, Scott sat down with the Star and talked about the pressures of heightened expectations, her teammates and how tennis has affected her life.
What got you started in tennis?
A: "My dad played tennis, and when I was little, he got me one of those tiny rackets. He would hit with me, and I took lessons. Then I took a year off before I started playing competitively when I was like 14 or so. So him and Jennifer Fuchs (director of tennis at the Hilton El Conquistador), who has been giving me private lessons for a long time. She's also helping me put together a tape for colleges."
As a leader on the team, what kind of responsibilities do you have?
A: "I do the countdown for our cheer before matches because I have a man voice, which I guess you wouldn't expect that from me. I also try to help out the younger players with advice if they need it. I'll try to help with specific shots or anything like that. When I was a freshman, we had a great group of seniors that helped me out, so I want to pass that on."
Best memory tennis has brought you so far?
A: "Tennis has just become part of my life now. Last year the pressure of everything, school, the team and basically all the regular teenage drama got to me, and I just broke down. I'd never really shown emotions like that before so when I broke down crying, everyone was like, 'What's going on?' but the team and coach Towne brought me back in, and I think we're all closer because of it. My first emotion is to get frustrated at myself, but they help me stay calm."