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Countdown: Zabor Rolls with the Tide
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Emily Zabor says junior tennis players should view recruiting visits as interviews.

Emily Zabor methodically chose Alabama
Before going on any of her five official visits last fall, the five-star recruit from Marietta, Ga., made a spreadsheet that included 16 things that would appeal to her in a school and tennis team. The list included her assessment of the campus, the coaching staff, her potential teammates, the tutoring program and size of the student body. (See Emily's full list below.)

"Make a list of things you're looking at and really pay close attention to detail," Zabor said when asked her advise to players being recruited. "You're going to be there four years and want it to be the greatest experience it can be. Be yourself and let your personality shine through. Sometimes people aren't as honest as they should be on these trips. Be respectful and show them how you can help their program."

It turns out that Zabor liked all five schools that she visited - Ole Miss, Georgia Tech, Alabama, Kentucky and Florida State. But one stood out.

In Novemeber, Zabor signed with Alabama.

"It was everything I wanted," Zabor said. "It's a school that's passionate about everything, both athletics and academics. The team was just so supportive, and you could really tell that they wanted each other to be successful, and they motivated each other. It felt like family and a potential home."

Although it wasn't a factor in Zabor's decision, the fact that Alabama potentially could have three Georgia players in its starting lineup next season is interesting. Junior Courtney McLane of Lawrenceville and freshman Alex Clay of Grayson are currently in the Tide's starting six of singles.

In Zabor, Alabama will be getting an aggressive player.

"I think I have a forcing game and want to be in control of the match," Zabor said. "I have a big serve that sets me up for another shot, and my forehand also is my strength, and my backhand is steady."

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Page updated on Tuesday, September 02, 2014
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