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Sophomore tennis player Sophia Spinazza (Hillsdale College Ath­letics | Courtesy)

Q: When did you first start playing tennis?
A: I first started playing when I was 11, but I’ve been around tennis my whole life. My mom and older cousins all played before me, but I started lessons when I was 11. 

Q: How many of your family members have played tennis at Hillsdale?

A: Four, including myself. My cousins, Dugan Delp, Sydney Delp, and Morgan Delp.

Q: Have you played any other sports?

A: I did a lot of dance. Before high school I did com­pet­itive dance, bas­ketball, tennis, and softball. Then in high school I con­tinued with tennis, dance and softball. So I stopped playing bas­ketball once I got to high school.

Q: What do you most enjoy about playing tennis at Hillsdale?

A: My team and my coach. I of course like the sport but just getting to be around them is great. They’re very pos­itive, fun, nice people to be around and it just makes it very enjoyable and a nice team to be around. 

Q: Are there any moments that have stood out to you so far in your tennis career?

A: The best moment was at the G‑MAC Cham­pi­onship last year. I mean, we had the expec­tation to win again basi­cally because the team had the year before, but it’s of course still always a chal­lenge and getting to cheer my team on and getting to see the progress of each person was really exciting and a great thing to be apart of. I loved getting to cheer on my team and seeing all the work for the whole team pay off. 

Q: How do you think this season will go? 

A: I think it will go well. In the fall we put a lot of time into improving our game, and I see all the girls on our team working hard. And our coach is really paying attention, so I think if we all pay attention we will have another good season in the spring. 

Q: What brought you to Hillsdale?

A: I knew about the school because I had three older cousins who came here. But when it came time to look at schools, I visited Hillsdale and really liked the liberal arts cur­riculum and the core that tran­scends all dif­ferent parts of aca­d­emics and the emphasis on learning how to learn and becoming a better person through your college edu­cation. I was not playing tennis when I orig­i­nally planned to go here. I didn’t become part of the team until the summer before. When I visited in the fall of my senior year, I met with coach and watched the team practice, but I didn’t know if I wanted to play in college or not, so I actually planned to go to Miami of Ohio and be on their dance team until April of my senior year. I really liked the actual school of Hillsdale, so I switched and I thought I didn’t want to play tennis. Then throughout the summer, without having played in a while, I missed the sport. So I called coach Nikki and asked if there was a spot and she said yes and I’m very happy that hap­pened. 

Q: What are you majoring in?

A: I want to major in eco­nomics and pol­itics. I really like eco­nomics so far. I haven’t taken too many classes, but I like how it’s sort of putting big ideas into common sense terms and so the things you talk about in class seem sort of obvious but are also like I never would have come to that on my own and then I like pol­itics a lot because I like looking at the older writers or more of the political theory and applying that to modern things hap­pening today and I espe­cially lie thinking about how the two relate to each other bc I think neither can be sep­arate and you have to con­sider both so I like how they work together. 

Q: What are your favorite classes?  

A: Chris­tianity and Pol­itics is my favorite course so far, I haven’t taken too many pol­itics classes, but I like Dr. Grant a lot because of what I said about why I like pol­itics in general; I like when he talks about modern things helping relate a book like St. Augustine’s “City of God” to our modern culture. I took Dr. Wolfram’s Intro­duction to Political Economy last semester, which was my first exposure to eco­nomics and I really liked that because it was the first time I had learned about simple eco­nomic things like supply and demand curves. It was really eye-opening and made me realize it was some­thing I’d like to study. It felt like time spent reading for that class flew by, so I knew I wanted to study this subject further because of that course.