Posted: Sep 26, 2012 5:07 PM by Andrew Masuda
Updated: Oct 10, 2012 10:14 AM
The Arroyo Grande high girls tennis team has been the class of the Pac 7 League the past two-plus years. The Eagles have been led by Sophie Whittle. The sophomore has been the team's #1 singles player the last two years. She is this week's Legend in the Making.
Whittle went 55-2 last year as a freshman and has a 26-2 record this season. The reigning Pac 7 champion is undefeated in league matches. "I pretty much play all the time and it's like all I do, said Whittle.
Whittle has certainly earned her success. She says her mom started having her hit balls when she was two and a half years old and that now she plays nearly everyday. "If I want to go anywhere in the game than I know that I have to give something now because I know it will pay off in the long run," she added.
The long run could be a Division I scholarship and Whittle even dreams of playing professionally some day. She works on her game with coaches during the offseason and gets a different perspective from the AG coaches during the season. There isn't a noticeable weakness in her game. "Sophie's just an all around great individual, she's social, she's balanced, she's just a terrific athlete. The other kids see how hard she works both here at practice and individually with other coaches and it's very inspiring for them," said Lori Hollister, the head coach of the Eagles, who was named the California High School Coach of the Year Award from the U.S. Professional Tennis Association.
In a season and a half as a high school player, Whittle has firmly established herself as the girl to beat in the Pac 7. "She's really good and I wish I could play more like that. But I think it takes a lot of dedication and time for that," said Paso Robles senior Maria Petiy. "She hits everything back, which is good and she doesn't mess up at all," added Petiy, who lost to Whittle 6-0 on Tuesday.
Another team and individual championship plus a run at a C.I.F. title are the short term goals for this legend in the making.
Whittle and the Eagles are ranked #1 this week in Division 3. They have won 30-straight Pac 7 League matches and are halfway through to their third-straight undefeated run through league play.
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