Sam Voss was a three-sport athlete his freshman year at Seymour High School when he played tennis and basketball and ran track.

After his sophomore year, he decided to concentrate on tennis and he’s happy he made that decision.

“I’m glad I decided to play tennis, Josiah (Rudge) talked me into it,” Voss said. “I said I would give it a try, and I ended up liking it a lot. It’s my favorite sport.

“My freshman year I played a few varsity (tennis) matches, but I didn’t letter. My sophomore year I was third singles, and last year I played second singles.”

Voss said there is a big difference playing No. 2 singles over the No. 3 singles.

“I think No. 2’s have more of a kick serve, and their shots are way more powerful, and they’re more aggressive. At No. 2 you’ve definitely need to have experience the talent. At No. 3, I think, is a step lower.”

Voss is a foster child, originally from Russia, has 18 brothers and sisters at home. The senior moved to the United States in the third grade.

In the seventh grade, Voss decided to start his tennis career.

“I played doubles with Hao Li, but up here I’ve played singles,” Voss said. “I’ve always loved singles. I can’t do doubles because I’m so used to singles. I’m pretty energetic so I always try to get to the ball when I’m playing doubles. I’m not good at communicating.”

Getting into position to be able to hit his forehand is one of Voss’ strengths.

“I’m known for my quickness,” Voss said. “I’m pretty fast getting to the ball. I’ll be running for the ball (at the baseline) and get to the ball and hit it down the line.

“I’ve got a lot of strength on my forehand. I’m pretty good on my strokes. I’m quick and hit good strokes. My backhand is decent. I try to be aggressive at the back. I try to be aggressive at the net but I’m not as good on volleys, but I’ve improved a lot. I like overheads.”

Another strength for Voss is his serving.

“I hit a flat serve, it has a lot of power,” Voss said. “I can get aces every once in a while.”

Voss said he is looking forward to a strong senior season.

“Last year I won all my JV matches, but not very many varsity,” he said. “I hope to improve that this year. I think I’ve got a lot better on my game. I’d like to have a winning season. I just love to play.”

He said he feels it is more exciting to win a set 7-5 instead or 6-0.

“I think winning 7-5 because I feel like he was actually up for me and I ended up with the win. I like when we’re evenly matched up and I actually win.”

One of Voss’ focuses this season is improving his mental game.

“I need to get my mental attitude up,” Voss said. “I think the mental part is really important because if you go out there acting like you can’t win, or if you think that is too much of a challenge.”

Voss said he has enjoyed having Brad Emerson as his tennis coach.

“I think we’re honored to play for him,” Voss said. “He’s a licensed professional. I took many lessons from Brad this summer.”

Q&A

Q: What’s your pre-match routine?

A: “I try to learn where (my opponent) is weaker at, their left or their right, or if they’re bad at overheads or volleys. If they go up to the net and they’re not very strong at volleys I’ll probably try to pass them with down line shots. That’s what I’m best at.”

Q: Where is your favorite place to play?

A: “I feel pretty good about the home matches. I feel comfortable here. My favorite courts are No. 1 or No. 2. The away courts I have to get used to. I like Columbus East. I like their courts.”

Q: Why is it important to have a strong start in tennis?

A: “I think it’s really important to win the first set. Then you don’t have as much stress on you playing the second set.”

At a glance

Name: Sam Voss

Parents: Earl and Brenda Voss

Siblings: Abby and Jacob (in high school)

Sports: Tennis, four years; track and field, two years; basketball, one year

Organizations: Band

Plans after high school: Attend IUPUI

Favorite food: Pizza

Favorite TV show: “Blue Mountain State”

Favorite singer/musicians: Logic

Favorite team: Purdue

Author photo
Arv Koontz is a sports correspondent for The (Seymour) Tribune.