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Tennis Players Triumph in College Admissions

High school students committed to playing competitive ITFJuniors tennis have long had to contend with conflicting schedules that pitted their training, travel, and tournament time against their demanding academic requirements. 

Since 2014, however, the established, nationally ranked Dwight Global Online School has offered scheduling flexibility and support for students with outside passions—athletic and otherwise. And every year since the school’s founding, more aspiring tennis players are acing their game on the court, in the classroom, and during the college search process.

“Dwight Global’s support system helped me pursue tennis and academics at a high level,” said Pearlie Zhang ‘24, who joined Dwight Global as a freshman and will compete for Princeton University’s women’s team next fall.     

Zhang isn’t alone in her success. Dwight Global counts competitive ITA players among its ranks, including tennis players at colleges all over the United States. 

The private online school for grades 6-12 is well known among college admissions officers nationwide as a place that prepares students to succeed academically. The online school’s flexibility and support provide athletes with the winning setup to maximize student time, allowing them to train and compete at the highest levels. 

Zhang’s classmates have scored spots at various colleges and universities in the United States, and will join their schools’ tennis teams next fall.  Graduates joining tennis teams include:

Nadia Bartek:  Boston College

Ava Bruno:  University of Michigan

Taylor Goetz:  Pepperdine University

Sophia Hernandez:  University of California (Berkeley)

Miles Kennedy: Davidson College

Jack Ling:  Williams College

Dana Livson: Emory University

Samuel Nieder:  Emory University

Natasha Rajaram:  Harvard University

William Semler:  University of San Diego

Other Dwight Global 2024 graduates will attend Yale, Columbia, Duke, NYU, Northeastern, Northwestern University, Purdue, and Reed, among other schools.

In the last year, Dwight Global alumni tennis players have had especially newsworthy success: 

  • Dwight Global’s Michael Zheng ’22, a sophomore at Columbia, was a finalist in the NCAA championships and earned a wildcard spot to the U.S. Open.  

  • Cooper Williams ’23, who recently transferred from Harvard to Duke University, earned All-American Honors and was ITA National Rookie of the Year.  

  • Nicholas Steiglehner ’23 also competed in the NCAA Tournament for the University of Michigan, where he finished his freshman year.  

Dwight Global is part of The Dwight Schools, whose Vice Chancellor, Dr. Blake Spahn, was captain of the undefeated 1994 Ivy League Champion Columbia University Men’s Tennis team. Spahn is the father of ranked ITFJ player Ronin ’28. 

“Having time to train, compete, and travel year-round is crucially important for young tennis players, especially those looking to play at the college level, or professionally,” said Spahn. 

“Our tennis players are committed to high-level achievement in their academics and in their sport, and Dwight Global excels in nurturing and encouraging their passion, commitment, time management, and leadership skills,” said Spahn.  

“We are proud that college and university admissions teams actively seek out our students, as our graduates continue to succeed on campuses at the university level.”