Riley Smith – Senior USC Tennis

“Growing up I always dreamed of going to USC. They have always been the Mecca of college tennis and there is no hiding that expectation. My dad was the coach at USC and before I had gotten there had led them to 5 NCAA team titles. Playing for my dad was something so special and I was lucky to experience it.”

“I had some incredible moments being on the same team as my brother at USC and even starting a couple doubles matches throughout my junior year with him. We were able to share all the difficulties that came with being the coach’s son and that brought us even closer. Having someone that knew exactly what I was going through pushed me through the moments of doubt and frustration.”

“My senior year we had a new coach and the group of guys on our team were hungry for a national championship. After suffering our first loss of the season on the road it really lit a fire in all of us and we headed into the National Indoors with something to prove. With many of our guys sick and injured we played one leg down throughout the tournament, but we managed to survive the storm and win USC’s 4th National Indoor Title.”

 “We were just beginning conference play and our team was finally healthy again. We were number 1 in the country and about to face UCLA, something everybody was looking forward to. It is a terrible feeling having such unfinished business being on a team that worked so hard to be in this situation that we had earned over my four years at school. College tennis taught me how to compete and brought bonds with people into my life that will never be broken.”

“Looking back on it I wouldn’t do things  much differently and that is something I’ll always be proud of. I made the most of my opportunities at USC and didn’t leave anything on the table. Everyone has an excuse at the end of the day and you can’t let that define you. Nobody cares, work harder.”

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: