April RRC Scholar-Athlete: Samantha Adams|
April 4, 2014
An athlete who started as a promising recruit, Samantha Adams ended up being one of the biggest influences of the Texas Tech Lady Raider tennis team's identity today.
Adams' career at New Braunfels high school was one filled with three consecutive state team tennis championships with her family right by her side.
"My sister and I got to the state finals in doubles my sophomore and junior year," Adams said. "Then, my little brother and I played mixed doubles for the individuals, and we won state my senior year."
This success led Adams to be named a five-star recruit by Tennis Recruiting Network and at the top of Texas Tech's recruiting list.
"For me, that was one of the first big recruits out of our own territory to try to put Texas Tech tennis on the map," said Todd Petty, head coach for the women's tennis team. "She had great leadership qualities. She was very popular when it came to her peers at that level. You could tell right away that she was going to be a difference maker to the program."
Both Adams' parents played collegiate tennis, her dad a former Red Raider, but she said they did not push her in any one direction when deciding where to play in college.
"They left it up to me, and supported me in my decision. I mean, I always had a Texas Tech hat growing up," Adams said with a slight smirk, "but my dad never pushed it too much."
Adams said she committed to play for Tech before she had visited because she strongly believed in the program and the coaches.
"Playing in the Big 12 was something I always wanted to do growing up," Adams said. "Coach Petty was very ambitious about his goals for the program and just really sold me on where we would go."
Adams started her career as a Lady Raider strong, being named ITA Texas Region Rookie of the Year and helping the team ranking move from the 70s to the 40s.
The New Braunfels native saw similar success in her sophomore and junior year as well. She has been named ITA Texas Region Player to Watch, All-Big 12 singles, All-Big 12 doubles, and that is just naming a few. Adams' has also been honored in the academic world as well, being named to Academic All-Big 12 in both her sophomore and junior year.
With a cumulative 3.8 GPA, the senior Lady Raider brings more than just athletic skills to the team.
"I'm a bit of a perfectionist. It's not a secret. It's never really been a question for me with grades," the English major explained. "I really push to get the best grades I can get. It's been natural to me to do my best in both areas."
Adams said she gets encouragement from both her coaches and academic advisors. "When you are overwhelmed with the season, it is hard to shift gears and focus on school because it is pretty consuming."
Adams pushed past any obstacle that came her way and will now be graduating in May and looking forward to graduate school for sports management in the fall.
As Adams wraps up her time as a student-athlete, Petty reflects back to his expectations while he was recruiting her.
"She became exactly what I thought she would be."