FACES IN THE CROWD
JAN. 24, 2005
SHORTLY AFTER she took up tennis at age nine, it became apparent that WhitneyTaney was going to be quite good at it. But instead of doing what manyprodigies do and head off to a tennis academy, Whitney decided she didn't wanther life to be dominated by tennis. So, much to the delight of her parents andEdina (Minn.) High coach Steve Paulsen, she stayed home and played for theHornets. She made the varsity in seventh grade; last Saturday her high schoolcareer came to an end when she beat Tooli Wilkins of Burnsville High for theClass AA state championship. The win ran Whitney's career record to 166--0,believed to be the longest streak in high school tennis history. "I waspretty emotional out there," Whitney (above) said after the match,"because I've had so much fun and made so many friends playing high schooltennis, and this is my last day."
Whitney, whodropped only two sets in her career, has orally committed to Michigan. Paulsenknows that her streak will eventually end, but he expects his star—who relieson brains, not brawn—to excel at the next level. "She's unbelievablyconsistent," says Paulsen. "She's not overpowering by any means. Shehas a mind-set that's very rare. She's super methodical, and you have to playthe perfect point to beat her."
MARK NORLANDER (TANEY)