By Marianne Flakk, Guest Writer

The tennis season for the Lutes has already started, and for one of the players, the season is off to a very good start. First-year Sam Stadter has already obtained the No. 2 singles spot on the Pacific Lutheran University tennis varsity team.

“I love how the game is played and the matches last a long time,” Stadter said of his choice to pursue tennis collegiately. Stadter has not declared a major yet, and for him, playing tennis at PLU was not a major priority.

“Tennis wasn’t my main focus, but it was a bonus,” Stadter said. “The coach was really adamant that I go here, and everyone is really nice.”

Young athletes often have favorite professional athletes that inspire them to become better players in their sport and to work harder. Stadter is no exception.

“John Isner is my favorite because he is a really humble person, and he is a very hard worker,” Stadter said.

John Isner is also an American tennis player who made it to the quarterfinals in the summer Olympics in London 2012 —  one of the greatest accomplishments in his career so far.

Another man who has influenced Stadter is his father.

“My dad is my role model for sure,” Stadter said. “He has taught me to be myself and to never give up.”

Even though tennis players are on the field alone most of the time, they are still a part of a bigger team and  spend a lot of time together at practice and on the road.

“The traveling is really fun and the people on the team are some of my best friends,” Stadter said.

Since he has already reached the No. 2 spot as a first-year, Stadter could reach even greater heights.

Stadter isn’t letting the notoriety get to his head though.

“I’m just having a good time, and it’s a really relaxed environment,” he said.

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