By CAROL LI
With ease, freshman Arianna Audelo once again successfully slams her shot, creating a perfect follow through with her racket and ultimately ending the play.
Audelo, an exceptional tennis player, takes the term ‘student-athlete’ to a whole new level. At the young age of four, she began to take tennis classes to occupy her time. Developing a growing interest in tennis, Audelo continues to craft her skills.
“My parents enrolled me in tennis, so I would not be bored at home,” Audelo said. “Watching professional players play [tennis] inspired me to put more effort into [improving] my tennis [ability].”
Being one of the few exceptions, Audelo became the captain of the varsity tennis team and participated in Singles One.
“It feels really special that I am the only freshman captain. I feel inclined to bring the team closer together, as well as helping us strive to be better,” Audelo said.
With constant encouragement throughout Audelo’s competitions, her family became one of her greatest support systems.
“My parents and grandparents really motivate me by being present at every game to cheer me on. When my family is [at my games], I play a lot better, because I know they believe in me, [which] helps me do my very best,” Audelo said.
Audelo gets her inspiration from her role model, CoCo Vandeweghe.
“I look up to CoCo Vandeweghe, because we have similar hitting styles,” Audelo said. “[For instance], both Vandeweghe and I hit the ball flat, which is an advantage when playing against people who cannot take power shots.
Audelo’s schedule is tight, as she attends about twelve to fifteen tournaments a year. Her competitions can take place in cities, such as Fullerton and Palm Springs.
As a result from her hard work and dedication to tennis, Audelo is ranked 52 in Southern California, and in the low two hundreds, nationally.
“I feel proud to be on on the [tennis national] ranking [because] it helps motivate me to keep pushing [myself] to [raise] my rank,” Audelo said.
Spending most of her time practicing tennis, Audelo does a variety of exercises to improve her ability.
“Practicing six days a week, I usually do a lot of conditioning to help my endurance and footwork drills to practice my coordination,” Audelo said. “[Practice] can help me play my very best by [allowing] to be less tired and recover faster.”
Since tennis is a mental sport, it is difficult at times for Audelo to be on the top of her game.
“[Playing tennis] requires a strong mentality. I learned from tennis to stay positive [because if I am not], it is easy for me to break down, which leads to not playing well,” Audelo said.
As of now, Audelo is getting the most out of her high school experience.
“Right now, I just want to have fun and play high school tennis. I also want to work on getting my ranking up, as well as my Universal Tennis Rating,” Audelo said.
For Audelo, tennis is an important aspect of her life. It has shaped her into the hardworking person she is today. As Audelo’s tennis skills continue to expand, she hopes to receive a tennis scholarship to UC San Diego (UCSD).
“In the future, I want to get a scholarship to UCSD, because UCSD is not only my dream college, but they also have a strong tennis team,” Audelo said.