The Peninsula High School tennis program has a budding star on its hands. Sophomore Taylor Andersen, in her first season playing for the Seahawks as the team’s No. 1, comes in as one of the top-ranked tennis players in Pacific Northwest and has appeared on Top 100 national ranking lists.
She might only be a sophomore, but she’s not shy about her aspirations early in her high school career.
“My goal is to win the state championship,” Andersen said. “So far, I’ve won all my matches and haven’t dropped a game yet. I’m trying to keep that up.”
Andersen started playing tennis when she was nine years old, and started taking it more seriously at 14. Now 16, Andersen has her sights on state titles, climbing the national rankings and playing tennis at the next level.
“I knew a couple years ago that I wanted to play Division-I tennis,” she said. “That’s my biggest goal.”
For Andersen, the high school tennis season is a good change of pace from the grind of the competitive tennis circuit.
“It’s a really great bonding experience with these girls, getting to know them and getting to work on my game and those pressure situations,” Andersen said. “High school tennis doesn’t have anything to do with points. I get to work on different things. It’s good for me just practicing my game and working on things I don’t feel very comfortable with.”
She’s working on her volleys and second serves with coaches Cheri Ausboe and Ian Skidmore. Andersen had previously attended Annie Wright in Tacoma, but since moved to Peninsula after struggling to maintain the academics balance with the demands of her tennis schedule.
“I get to practice a lot more now and it’s not so rigorous academically,” Andersen said. “It’s really nice and it’s more balanced for me now.”
Andersen said she’s looking forward to facing some of the state’s top competition, such as Timberline’s No. 1 singles player Angela Schuster, who took fourth in state last season.
All in all, the results have been positive in Andersen’s first season with the Seahawks.
“It’s been amazing,” Andersen said. “Everyone has been so welcoming.”