Natural ability and teamwork make athlete a coach’s dream

How often does a coach come across a player with so much natural athletic ability that she has played not one, not two, but three sports at a national level?  If you have not yet heard of her, you will now: Introducing Chiara Schwab (CC to her friends).

CC’s unique athletic background includes 5th place at the Little Mo National Tennis tournament in Austin, Texas, under Coach Woody Blocker, playing on the nationally ranked (top 5) Del Mar Carmel Valley Sharks soccer team under Coach Felicia Kappes, and volleyball on the nationally-ranked Encinitas Wave volleyball club team under Coach Michelle Moriarty.

A year ago, CC picked up her tennis racquet again to join her high school team, the Torrey Pines Falcons, and helped the team clinch its 24th Division One CIF title under then- Coach James Jack.

As a doubles specialist, CC and teammate Michelle Hao contributed two out of three crucial doubles matches towards the team’s CIF victory over Rancho Bernardo.

Fast forward a year later to September 2014, and after a busy year playing USTA tournaments in the Los Angeles area and attending clinics at Coach Alex Levie’s Surf n Turf Tennis Club, CC has landed on the Prince Hot 100 list, coming in at No. 40 in the country.  She is co-captain this year with fellow senior Kelsey Chen of the Torrey Pines Falcons girls’ tennis team, with the goal of leading the team to their 25th CIF championship.

In an age of specialization, CC brings a unique perspective of well-roundedness and maturity. Perhaps not surprisingly, what many have observed about CC’s tennis is that her lack of fear, explosiveness and ability to finish points decisively at the net comes from playing volleyball. Throw in her height for an added advantage.

If you ask CC what her goals are for the 2014 high school tennis season, in addition to winning the 25th CIF championship for Torrey Pines, she will tell you her goal is to play a doubles match with each of the other 16 girls on the varsity team.

Only two weeks into the season, CC has already had a lot of fun playing and winning her doubles matches with five different team mates.

“As a doubles specialist, I try to adapt to my partner’s technical strengths and weaknesses.  As a leader I try to complement her personality. It’s easy to feel good when we win, but when we lose I also try to pick my partner up and help her understand that as long as we gave our best on the court and had fun, then that’s ultimately what it’s all about. I would like to be remembered as the girl who played with everyone on the team.”

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