Sidnee Lavatai (Murray) signed with Utah State women’s tennis for the 2018-19 season. Lavatai is the No. 1-ranked player in Utah, No. 4 in the region, No. 188 in the country and a four-star recruit.
“Sidnee is a very talented player that has a tremendous upside and is going to come in and immediately help our program," Utah State head coach Sean McInerney said. "She has a real big serve and forehand, and has worked extremely hard in the past year on her conditioning and quickness. She is going to be a great college player, and we are very lucky to have her joining our program.”
Recently, USU Athletics caught up with Lavatai to ask a few questions about her and why she chose Utah State.
Why did you choose Utah State? “I chose Utah State because of the positive and encouraging atmosphere. The campus is beautiful, and they offer so many things that are going to help me grow into who and what I want to be.”
How would you describe your relationship with coach McInerney? “I would describe my relationship with coach Sean McInerney as relatable. I feel like there are some similarities we have both in life and in ideas which gives us that kind of bond. Sean really believes in me which makes me want to do even better.”
How would describe your style of play? “I have a more aggressive style of play. My strong serve, paired with my forehand, allows me to set up points where I can get to the net. I have good volleys, so making it to the net is a great asset to my game.”
What are you planning on majoring in while at USU? “I am not exactly sure as to what I want to major in yet, but maybe something in the medical field where I can help children.”
What is your favorite movie? “My favorite movie would probably have to be ‘She’s the Man’ because it’s so funny.”
What is your favorite food? “My favorite food would have to be mashed potatoes. I love all kinds of potatoes, but mashed is for sure the way to go.”
Who is your favorite professional tennis player? “My favorite tennis player is Maria Sharapova. I like her because I see her as a hardworking, aggressive and a competitive player. They are things I aspire to be and watching her motivates me to do all that.”
Parents Bob and Bronwyn Lavatai: “We are so excited for Sidnee to attend and play for Utah State. We love Sean’s coaching style and philosophies and are looking forward to watching Sidnee develop as an athlete. We believe she is just getting started.”
Utah State women’s tennis team returns to the courts to host Southern Utah on Jan. 20, at 10 a.m. (MT), as part of eight home matches for the season.
Ashley Springer is a student at Utah State University studying journalism and communication. Springer is an intern with the USU athletic department's media relations.