Rushing chooses Chowan

Published 2:42 pm Monday, May 30, 2011

AHOSKIE – Heaven Rushing isn’t traveling too far to continue her tennis career.

In fact, the Hertford County High School senior will continue her career about 11 miles from where she played in high school.

Last week, Rushing committed to Chowan University where she will join the Hawks’ tennis program.

“It’s a small school and has a good class size and student-to-teacher ratio,” Rushing said of her choice. “It’s also close to home so that’s a positive.”

Rushing said she was excited about the possibilities of the Chowan University program which has risen to near the top of the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association.

“I’m really excited about the team and about the coach (Chris Stambaugh),” she said. “I think it will be a great experience.”

Rushing played four years of tennis and also played softball at Hertford County High School. She was the manager of the wrestling team for four years as well.

She said her senior year at HCHS was the best one for tennis and credited first-year Head Coach Natalie Walters for being the reason.

“I learned a deep shot and a slice thanks to Coach Walters,” she said.

For her part, Walters said it was Rushing’s work and leadership that would lead to her doing well at Chowan.

“She’s definitely a leader,” Walters said. “She played number one for us for half the season and had the most wins.

“She’s a fighter on the court and a good example for others to see,” the coach added.

Walters said Rushing has an excellent personality to play tennis at the collegiate level.

“She has a very strong personality and it shows on the court,” Walters said. “She doesn’t let things get to her. If she gets down, she’ll fight back. She’s very determined.”

Rushing actually started playing tennis when she reached high school.

“I think I had picked up a racket maybe three times before I got to high school,” she said. “Getting a scholarship now when I didn’t start until high school is something I’m very happy about.”

Rushing said her greatest high school tennis memory came her senior year when she was able to beat an opponent from Currituck High School to advance to the regionals.

As she looks forward to her collegiate career, Rushing said she looks forward to it.

“I am hoping to get a lot better and work with my team,” she said. “I’m also looking forward to devoting more time to tennis.”

Rushing will be the first HCHS player to sign with Chowan University in tennis since the institution moved to National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II status.