By Alex Milman
After each satisfying slam of the racket against the ball, the first serve became easier and easier for the final showdown of the fall 2019 season. Senior Sophia Schutte was first singles on the tennis team, and after leading the team to many victories, Schutte felt that she was ready to go to All Counties.
Schutte was awarded an All Counties Plaque for tennis after making it to the second round of All Counties’ singles. From pure grit and determination, Sophia won her match against a long-time rival, Julianna Romeo. Romeo attends Roslyn High School, and has been a long time rival of Schutte’s since they practice with each other at the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP). Schutte said, “I told myself I’m going to beat her.” She felt the hard work was worth it to see her name on the plaque.
When Schutte and Romeo came head to head, Schutte won the first set, Romeo won the second, and Schutte closed it off by winning the third set. “I don’t know why, but I do better when I’m down. I find more importance to win,” she said.
The match was both physically and mentally taxing. The two had excellent placement of the ball, hitting the corners almost every time. Schutte said it was one of the harder matches she has played. She most certainly has learned from her hero: Maria Sharipova — known for her motivation to win every point.
While playing for college and having a collegiate experience is her goal, Schutte would like to continue playing tennis as a hobby if that doesn’t work out.