Andie Daniell and Aryn Greene grew up as junior tennis rivals. Both were two of the best junior players in all of tennis, and they grew up only an hour away from each other. Daniell grew up in Douglasville, GA while Greene was from Alpharetta, GA.
“We’ve known each other since we were 7 years old,” Greene said. “We joke because we were like nemeses. We would always battle against each other. We weren’t super close, but we bonded over how competitive we were.”
Daniell coming out of high school was the No. 1 recruit from Georgia and No. 3 nationally. Greene the year before was ranked the No. 5 recruit from Georgia, and No. 40 nationally. Greene, who was a year older committed to Alabama and played for the team last year. This year Daniell decided to join her old nemesis, and came to Alabama as well.
“We joke about it, we played doubles and she actually had her first collegiate win with me in doubles. She was like ‘I never thought we would be doubles partners and I would have my first college win with you,’” Greene said. “It’s crazy how far we’ve come and how great of friends we are.”
Daniell had choices all over the country to play for, and she narrowed it down to Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia. She said that it was the coaches and the teammates that made the decision easy to pick Alabama.
“I wanted to be associated with a team that I knew were tough competitors and that also had good character and who I also thought had a chance of winning NCAA’s,” Daniell said.
Daniell has made an immediate impact on the team. She has a team-high eight victories over two tournaments. Daniell received many complements from her teammates and coaches about her drive for excellence. In high school she had a 4.0 GPA.
“Andie is relentless, and that is definitely something that has positively affected our team from the moment she got here,” assistant coach Shelley Godwin said. “It shows her commitment to excellence, not only on the tennis court does she want to be the best, but also in the classroom she takes care of business,”
Daniell may be playing the same game she always has, but for the first time she is playing on a team. In the junior tennis circuit, most players only play singles matches and do not focus on doubles. Talented young tennis players usually just play in local and national tournaments, not affiliated with any teams at all.
“I’ve never played on a team before, but I have definitely enjoyed it so far,” Daniell said. “When you are by yourself, you push yourself, but when you are on a team you are no longer just playing for yourself, you are playing for other people and that just makes you want to work that much harder.”
Daniell and Alabama will be traveling to Auburn for the USTA/ITA Southern Regional Championships. All of the southern region will be attending, so there will be 12 other teams from Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana.
“We want to see them compete,” Godwin said. “We want them to represent our team in a way that other teams are like ‘wow they compete hard, we don’t want to have to face them because they compete hard.’”
It will be the first large tournament for Daniell and the Crimson Tide this fall. This tournament will allow coach Jenny Mainz to showcase all her talent, including her new freshman threat.
“She’s going to make a great impact,” Greene said. “She’s the kind of people we need here at Alabama because of how disciplined and professional she is. From a young age she has always been self-driven. So I think having people like that, that can lead themselves, inspires everyone else on the team to be better and get to that level she is at.”
Source:: The Crimson White Sports