After graduating middle school, imagine making the ultimate sacrifice to pursue a dream to become a professional tennis player while being homeschooled.
Enter in the shoes of Lauren Anzalotta, the newest OSU tennis recruit from Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico. Although Anzalotta traveled from Puerto Rico to Florida on a regular basis, she still made it a priority to train. As a result, her social life was different from that of an average teenager.
“In the beginning, I was a bit out of place,” Anzalotta told the O’Colly. “I didn’t really know a lot of people here in Florida, but I made a lot of friends actually and friends that I still know and play with me.”
Being outgoing wasn’t in the bulk of her mind until Anzalotta was older.
“I just wanted to train, I wasn’t too worried about the whole social life until I was more like 15 or 16 probably because of homeschooling and I didn’t get to go out as much but I knew that I had to make a sacrifice to compete and get better in tennis, which is what I wanted all along,” Anzalotta said.
Anzalotta would also see Florida as her competitive niche as well as her basic home today away fromPuerto Rico.
“I started coming to Florida to train because there was nowhere to train in Puerto Rico and my parents and coach realized that I had some potential that I should least see where it could take me,” Anzalotta said.
Anzlotta and her family have been friends with OSU’s assistant tennis coach, Jaime Sanchez-Canamares. He had the privilege to watch Anzalotta practice in the past while he was a private tennis coach in South Florida.
Anzalotta didn’t plan to play for OSU until just recently, when she discovered that the program is right for the journey of playing professionally.
“They have developed a couple of pros,” Anzalotta said. “I think that was a standout to me because I was very close to committing to another school.”
The focus was about developing on and off the court and taking her game to the next level. Young’s record in over a decade at OSU shows that’s easily possible.
Anzalotta is familiar with another recruit in this year’s class, Daniella Medvedva, from Spain. Coach Chris Young said that her connection along with Alana Wolfberg, also from Florida, has already grown on the tennis court.
“(Daniella) and (Lauren) actually trained together for a week last year before the French Open Junior Championships,” Young said.
As for her game, Young sees a lot in his new recruit when it comes to the all-important doubles match.
“She’s just an all-around player, and she’s going to make an impact on singles and doubles,” Young said. “I think that’s really important in college tennis is to have people that can play doubles, and I think she can do well professionally in doubles.”
Anzalotta gave herself the ultimate birthday present by signing to OSU on her 18th birthday.
“I thought it was a great idea and I’m so happy and I feel so stress free,” Anzalotta said.