January 8, 2014 - by
New Year, New Team: Part I

Jan. 8, 2014

By Summer Gilhousen, FSU Sports Information

The start of the new tennis season includes what appears to be the start of a new team. Head coach Dwayne Hultquist expanded last year’s team by recruiting six new players: Jack Haffey, Jake Albo, Parker Evertsen, Grayson Goldin and Jose Gracia along with transfer Marco Nunez.

We would first like to introduce you to Jack Haffey, 18, of Naples, Florida. Holding a tennis racket since seven years old, Haffey stems from a family of athletes. Both his parents, Catherine and Michael Haffey, are former athletes from Miami of Ohio, and his younger sister, Mary Haffey, follows his footsteps as she travels around the world playing ITF tournaments.

In order to have a strong tennis career, Haffey studied with Florida Virtual School. Thinking back on his demanding schedule as a teen-athlete, the FSU freshman stated, “my greatest achievement before college would be winning two National Open doubles titles and completing high school with a cumulative 4.2 GPA.”

He carries with him to FSU the discipline that is required to be successful with both academics and athletics. “Being a college athlete is like having two jobs and it has taken time to learn how to juggle both tennis and academics,” said Haffey. “Yet it has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life of so far.”

With a personal goal to become an Academic All-American in doubles and a team goal to win ACCs, Haffey has high hopes and motivation for this season and the future.

Also from Florida is 19-year-old Jake Albo. Albo began playing tennis at the age of six with his father. He states, “I chose to play tennis over any other sport simply because I fell in love with it after playing with my dad when I was younger.”

Albo comes to Florida State after graduating from The Sagemont School in Weston, Florida. His junior tennis career consists of many championships and achievements including his favorite- winning the Boys 14’s Super National Championships in San Antonio, Texas.

When asked why he chose FSU as the next step in his tennis career, the freshman stated, “I chose Florida State because when I visited the school I really felt at home and I knew this is where I wanted to be.”

Though balancing the student-athlete lifestyle was tough at first for the freshman, he quickly settled and got the hang of things. “My first year of college is going fairly well,” claims Albo. “I met a lot of great people and friends that I will keep for the rest of my life. It is also a very special feeling to be a student-athlete because, on and off the court, I am not only representing myself but my fellow teammates and my school.”

Albo hopes to graduate FSU with a degree in science while leading his team to a national championship.

Parker Evertsen, 18, joins the team from Marietta, Georgia. Son of two FSU alumni, Mike and Kelli Evertsen, Parker has been a Seminole his whole life. A spot on FSU’s Tennis Team is a dream he worked hard to achieve. “My improvement the last year-and-a-half of my junior tennis career is my greatest achievement because it helped earn my spot on the team,” said the freshman.

Eversten finds inspiration from the Baltimore Orioles’ Cal Ripken Jr. “He inspires me because he could play through any pain no matter what, and he has the record for most consecutive games played without missing a start,” claims the Seminole. “On the court, Roger Federer is my inspiration because of the way he stays calm while also playing with so much strength and intensity.”

Evertsen is currently studying finance to prepare him for life after college. “My goal is to get a good job in Finance. I haven’t thought much about professional tournaments, but it all depends on how much I improve throughout my time here at FSU,” said Evertsen.

Check back next week to get to know Grayson Goldin and Jose Gracia.

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