Monica Davis never planned on making the Southern Section individual tennis playoffs two straight seasons. Nor did she envision having an undefeated senior tennis season.
In fact, she didn't plan to play tennis for Troy High School when she transferred there before her junior year.
Davis left Katella, where she played for the Knights, to attend a magnet program of advanced math and science courses called "Troy Tech." Magnet programs are held at certain schools emphasizing specially advanced classes.
Once at Troy, Davis cultivated a keen interest in computers.
"I wasn't even going to play at Troy," Davis said. "I didn't think I could handle the classes and still have time to play tennis. As it turned out, I could. If I had stayed at Katella, there was no way I could take PASCAL or CAD (two computer programming language classes)."
Her league opponents probably wish she had stuck with her computer programs and stayed off the tennis courts. Davis, who as a junior advanced to the first round of the Southern Section playoffs, is the Freeway League's best player this season. She is 50-0, and a victory today in a 3:15 p.m. match against Fullerton will give her an undefeated regular season and another berth in the Southern Section playoffs.
But today's match won't be easy. Davis will meet the Indians' No. 1 singles player, Loraine Lau, who also is one of the Freeway League's best players.
Davis beat Lau, a freshman who is ranked in the 14-year-old age group of the Southern California Tennis Assn., 6-2, in their first meeting. Troy Coach George Vallance believes that Davis will beat Lau again and complete the undefeated regular season.
"She's got a good serve-and-volley game," Vallance said of Davis. "She has a nice touch on the ball. Her serve is the strongest aspect of her game.
Vallance added, "She's been a wonderful asset to the team. She's always super friendly on the courts. Even when she wins over someone who's not in her class, she's very gracious.
"A lot of our players are just recreational players. Monica has been playing since she was 3. She really wants to continue her tennis career."
Davis would like to attend the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. It's not that she is particularly interested in being a general. Davis, who has a 4.0 grade-point average, says that Army is the best place to further her computer studies. She's especially interested in design engineering.
"CAD is like drafting, but on a computer," she said.
Davis played in a junior tournament and spoke to a recruiter from West Point, who was at the tournament. The recruiter, learning of Davis' interests, encouraged her to apply.
"The classes are smaller," Davis said. "It's not like you have a hundred students and one teacher. There's more individual teaching. The teachers can tutor you."
Said Vallance: "We've never had a tennis player that wanted to go (to Army). Maybe a football player."
But tennis gives her a special edge.
"I don't think I'd have a chance to get into West Point if it weren't for tennis," Davis said. "That separates me from the others. So many people have 4.0s, and it's hard to compete unless you have something else going for you."