Nicole Roc Wins State
by Guy Lohoua
Nicole Roc, Adv. 806, has been crowned the best 1A girls tennis player in Illinois. Although it may seem like an unthinkable achievement to most, this is something that Roc has been planning since Freshman year, and maybe even longer. Roc has been been playing tennis since she was about six years old, meaning that for the past 11 years, she has been improving her skills. Her journey started down in Florida, when her family was on vacation. After running out of things to do, Roc decided to accompany her cousins to their tennis practice. Upon seeing them play, Roc thought to herself, “Wow, I think I can do this.” She then brought her interest in tennis back to Chicago -- and it has been a match made in heaven ever since.
“I knew I wanted to win state since Freshman year,” said Roc when asked how much winning state meant to her. She talked about how she wanted to be remembered long after she left. Roc worked hard with that goal in mind, as she shared how painful it was for her to come up short in previous years to someone who would end up winning state. Roc trained diligently and waited for her chance to shine. To ensure that she was in the perfect condition to win, Roc took a break from high school tennis during her Junior year, focusing on her own individual training. Although many people would worry that taking a year off would cause problems, Roc used all of the pressure and high expectations to motivate her on her way to the top. “It has been great and surreal to be able to win state for the first time,” says Roc. She also finished her Senior tennis season without a single loss.
Roc will be taking her talents to West Virginia University, located in Morgantown West Virginia. Well known for their outstanding athletic programs, Roc is bound to be challenged while there. She has been awarded a full scholarship and will be joining WVU's Division I tennis team. She will be competing in the Big 12 conference and plans to continue her dominating competitions. “I hope to be able to grow as a tennis player there, and become even better, and hopefully win some NCAA titles,”said Roc. When Roc was asked if she plans to play tennis professionally, she stressed how important it was for her to get a good education first, although she is interested in entering pro tournaments after she finishes college.