Rising Stars


Author: Paul Sirri

Nicole Castro

Women’s Tennis

What do you find so rewarding about tennis?

I think it’s a really personal achievement. Besides playing on a team, winning as an individual player is really beneficial. It’s helped me understand that a lot of the work I have to do is dependent on me and not on other people.

Do you have any other clubs or organizations that you are involved with on campus?

I also play soccer for the school. It keeps me pretty busy, and I wasn’t sure I was going to play tennis this year just because I thought I might want a break, but I’m glad that I did. It keeps me on my toes and makes me manage my time better.

Do you have any favorite pre-match rituals?

I definitely go for the banana and peanut butter sandwich. That’s my go-to. Before each match, we all huddle up and give each other a pre-game pump up. We make sure everyone is ready to go out there and have fun. And that’s one of the most important things we focus on.




Cameron Coe

Men’s Tennis

Has there been any one person who has had a big impact on your development as a player?

Yeah, I had one coach in high school, Freddy Walsh, who was a big impact on me. He inspired me to want to play college tennis and work really hard. He showed me the type of player I could become, and that really inspired me to want to become a better player.

What do you find so rewarding about tennis?

The mental aspect of tennis is so demanding and so tough. Last night, I had a three hour match, and I ended up winning that. After moments like those, the feeling you have afterward is being rewarded by the team and all the mental and physical toughness that helps you get through that.

What other hobbies do you have?

I watch a lot of soccer. I used to play in high school until my junior year. So if I could play a second sport, it would definitely be soccer.



Sam Miller

Men’s Golf

Do you have any funny or interesting anecdotes or stories about your experiences relating to golf?

One round, I was 2 under through two holes, two birdies in a row, two big puts, and like perfect shots. All of sudden I made a 9 and then an 8 and then a double bogie. Here I am; just 30 minutes ago I was feeling really good, and now I can’t feel anything at all. It can all change so quickly.

Do you have any hobbies?

I surf whenever I can.


Do you have any pre-match rituals?

I always have to have three tees in my pocket and a divot replacer. Three tees is the important part. My putter can’t touch anything but the green, unless my ball’s off the green and I’m using my putter. For golf, you also have a pre-shot routine, which is personal. Specifically, I put my club right behind the ball, I take a couple of steps back, one practice swing in slow motion, set the club in my right hand. I have one twirl of the club with my right hand, set the club down and get my feet set, then I swing.


Samantha Rocha

Women’s Golf

Was there anyone who has had an especially profound impact on your development as a golfer?

When I was first starting, the summer before my freshman year of high school, I met a lot of people my age who played golf at that time. Since I liked hanging out with them, I just played golf with them, but I didn’t necessarily like the sport at the time. I thought it was kind of boring. But by hanging out with them, I started taking it more seriously.

Do you have any hobbies?

I just read a lot, honestly. My favorite author is Colleen Hoover, it’s like contemporary romance. Also I sing, but I don’t do Glee Club or anything, because I don’t know how to read music. I go hiking a lot in Griffith Park and in Whittier.

What is your favorite golf course that you’ve ever played on?

Bel Air Country Club, it’s super nice. We actually played in Hawaii during Fall semester, but it was really windy. It was pretty though. Also that was the first time I’d ever been on a plane.


Claudia Oppermann

Women’s Water Polo

How did you first get started playing water polo?

I was a competitive swimmer when I was a kid, and all of my friends were doing water polo, because a lot of people do both. I first started playing to be with my friends, and I ended up loving it way more than swimming. I like that its more of a team sport.

How much did athletics factor into your decision to attend Oxy?

A lot, actually. There’s a new coach this year, so I didn’t know him before I came, but I was in touch with the coach last year. I came on my recruit visit and I had a lot of fun and I really liked the team, so I came here.

If you could have played a second sport what would it have been?


What is your favorite sports team?

San Diego Chargers

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