Q: You posted some spectacular results as a freshman: 13-1 regular-season record, Seminole District singles champion and Region 4D singles runner-up. Have you always been this good at tennis?
A: “When I was little, I was sort of normal. Then I started playing a lot and I really got better in eighth grade.”
Q: Did you learn a lot from last year’s seniors on E.C. Glass’ squad or was it the work you put in?
A: “I started working with my coach [Kyle Allen, the head tennis professional at Boonsboro Country Club] on my own and with my dad [Peter Ploch]. That’s where I grew the most.”
Q: You have played in several tournaments at Boonsboro and recently competed in the Central Virginia Invitational Tennis Tournament. Do you play competitive tennis frequently outside of the high school team?
A: “Not that much, actually. I’m not playing in any tournaments.”
Q: When you do get to play in those tournaments, what do you learn or take away from those experiences?
A: “What I need to work on. No matter how much I practice, it’s not like a real match. I need to see how I actually play in a real match.”
Q: The E.C. Glass roster this past season was exceptionally young with you and fellow freshmen Sam Hite and Carter Rennyson. How was team able to perform so well?
A: “I think me and my freshmen friends who were at the top are pretty good. We got lucky with a great team this year.”
Q: What was more gratifying for you this past season — advancing to the Region 4D championship as a singles competitor or the team competing in the Class 4 quarterfinals?
A: “Seeing how well the team performed, actually. We came hitting out in the fall sort of decent, but then we really started to take off when we got into the season.”
Q: What is your strength on the court?
A: “My forearm. I feel like I can hit that pretty hard.”
Q: Does that translate to the serve?
A: “I have a pretty good serve, but I need to make it even more.”
Q: What do you feel like you need to work on to take the next step?
A: “My footwork and my backhand.”
Q: With Wimbledon being played at this time of year, do you watch any professional players and pick up tendencies from them to incorporate into your game?
A: “I sort of watch a German player, [Alexander] Zverev and Jack Sock. I like his forearm. He hits it a lot and he hits it pretty hard.”
Q: Is your forearm overpowering, especially if you are in position and your footwork is utilized properly?
A: “If I’m in perfect position, I usually win a point off it.”
Q: What is a big key going into your sophomore year after a successful freshman season?
A: “Focus on this year and not last year. Keep on going.”
Q: What expectations do E.C. Glass coaches Mike Fuqua and Tim Matthews have for this team in the coming years?
A: “They probably want us to win the states one year. I think that’s possible if we can keep going at the rate we’re going.”
Q: Does this team want another crack at Blacksburg?
A: “We’re always going to play Blacksburg and the great player [Frank Thompson] is a freshman there. We’re going to have to play them every regional match.
Q: Is there the makings of a strong rivalry between Glass and Blacksburg in tennis?