Hoover can't stop winning
Aug. 17, 2010 at 3:17 a.m.
Texas A&M tennis player Colin Hoover played top talent from all over the country this summer.
But it all started back home, with his dad.
"I'm always finding out new things about my game," said Hoover, a Victoria native who won a state title at Memorial in 2007. "As soon as I think I have it figured out, there's something different I have to learn."
Hoover spent a few weeks this summer training with his dad, Steven Hoover, who was his coach at Memorial when he won a state title.
Then he went on his summer tour of winning, winning and more winning.
In late June, he traveled to Arlington for the U.S. Open Texas Sectional Qualifying Tournament.
He beat SMU's No. 1 player in the first round, then took down three more competitors to win the tournament.
"People thought I made it look easy, cruising through the tournament," Hoover said. "But it was very tough."
Then it was on to Abilene for the ITA Summer Circuit where he was the No. 1 seed. He cruised through the 64-player field and captured a singles title there.
But he wasn't done.
He then went to Atlanta for the U.S. Open National Playoffs where he was matched up with Eric Quigley, Kentucky's No. 1, and one of the top American collegiate players in the country.
He made quick work of Quigley, winning 6-3, 6-3.
"It was an eye-opener for sure," Hoover said. "I didn't get to play much this year - I wasn't even ranked. This was someone that should have destroyed me.
"For me to step up and play him, and not care about his ranking - it was more than a confidence booster - it showed me I'm capable of beating these guys."
Even though he lost his second round game in the tournament, Hoover said the work he's put in this summer has shown him he's ready for his junior campaign - one in which he hopes to help the Aggies to a national title.
"I'm looking forward to the coming year," he said. "We were No. 10 in the nation last year and we didn't lose one player," he said. "I want this team to be a threat to be reckoned with."
Hoover has more confidence than ever, but he's not saying he expects to be the No. 1 for A&M when he hits the court this year - he knows his team is stacked with talent.
"I would rather play at No. 6 and never a lose a match, and get my team points, than play at No. 2 and never win a match - that wouldn't be any good for my team.
"Wherever they put me, I'm going to try to be as successful as possible."
Hoover said he's not expecting anything less from the rest of his team.
"I'm going to have high expectations for everybody," he said. "They're either going to love me or hate, but they're going to respect me. And I expect everyone to be the same way.
"I want to win the Big 12 and the NCAA Championship. Working hard is going to get you where you want to go."