Those interested in signing Brooke Sanderson to a tennis scholarship likely had plenty of questions for the Greenbrier High School senior.
After all, that’s part of the process.
One thing they already knew about her was her demeanor in tight situations.
It’s something with which she’s had plenty of experience; the Wolfpack have advanced to the state semifinals for three years running.
“I think I play better under pressure because I like knowing the team depends on me,” she said. “It pushes me to play better.”
On Thursday, Sanderson signed a national letter of intent to play tennis at Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City, Tenn.
Sanderson’s excitement about what’s coming up next fall is two-fold.
She’s looking forward to consistently playing against good players. There are some talented players at the high school level, but many times the better players are head-and-shoulders above the others.
The other aspect she’s excited about is one of the reasons she chose Carson-Newman.
“I like that it’s a private, Christian college, because I really wanted to go to a school that had strong beliefs so I wouldn’t lose my faith,” Sanderson said. “A lot of people go to college and drift away from what they believe in. I didn’t want that to happen to me.”
Sanderson received athletic and academic scholarships. She’d like to major in pre-medicine, with the goal of becoming a dentist.
She’ll play both singles and doubles for the Eagles, who compete in the South Atlantic Conference in Division II.
A singles player her first two years at Greenbrier, Sanderson played doubles with partner Molly Lee last season.
The Wolfpack have fallen in the state semifinals three years in a row. Each year, Sanderson has come into the state tournament unbeaten in the regular season, then continued the strong play in the postseason.
Now that she has made a college decision, she can simply go out and try to win it all as a senior.
The day of matches, the Greenbrier coaching staff doesn’t have to worry about motivating its team. Sanderson has that under control.
“Brooke, she’s very energetic,” head coach Brittany Jackson said. “She leads the team, just in getting everybody together and motivating the players.”
“She’s aggressive and not afraid to go for the ball,” assistant coach Katie Holmes added. “Even in pressure situations, she’ll go for a winner. She never backs off.”
Sanderson’s private coach, Mike Moody, said that you can teach tennis skills, but she has the intangibles.
“The (Carson-Newman) coach was interested in Brooke’s intensity, her desire to win, and her work ethic,” he said.