For the past four years, Sam Divley has been a star attraction on the tennis court as he overcame every challenge that stood in his way.
The Wayne Country Day senior accepted a new challenge when he signed a national letter of intent to continue his tennis career at Elon University.
“This has always been the goal and dream,” Divley said. “I have always aspired to play college tennis and to be able to play at the highest level. Elon is the icing on top.”
Divley, who plans on majoring in communications, helped lead the Chargers to back-to-back state championship game appearances. This season the Chargers finished the regular season with a perfect 12-0 record and finished 15-1 overall.
“It was a super optimistic season,” Divley said. “Nobody was ever negative. We had one goal in mind, and that was to win a state championship, and we got as close as you can.”
The accolades don’t stop there for Divley. The senior standout was named an NCISAA all-state selection and won the Tom Jones award at Wayne Country Day’s spring awards ceremony.
Despite his success on the court, Divley is reluctant to bask in the spotlight and prefers to let his game do the talking. During his senior season, he had no problem stepping into a leadership role.
“This season I really took command of the team and tried to be a big influence,” Divley said. “I really enjoyed taking a leadership role.”
First-year coach David Flowers said he couldn’t have asked for a better leader than Divley.
“He’s one of those guys that it doesn’t matter what sport you coach, you want to be around Sam,” Flowers said. “Sam did a great job of getting everything going and making sure everybody stayed on task.”
Dively’s journey to Elon started with a phone call. Phoenix head coach Michael Leonard called Divley a couple of months ago and told Divley he wanted to make him an offer.
“The stars aligned and after another visit, it all made sense,” Divley said.
Last season, Elon finished with a 21-5 overall record, won its first CCA titile and lost to the University of Georgia in the first round of the NCAA Men’s Tennis Championship. Elon plays in the Colonial Athletic Association alongside UNC Wilimington, Hofstra Univeristy and College of William & Mary.
Divley said that making the jump to Division I tennis and coming in as a freshman next year are two new challenges he is more than willing to take on.
“It’s going to be a bit of a change, but hopefully I can work my way up there,” Divley said.
Flowers said one of the keys to Divley’s success is his overall commitment to the sport, and has no doubt that Divley will fit in perfectly at Elon.
“It’s been amazing to watch Sam Divley,” Flowers said. “Not only is he a great tennis player, he’s a great guy, he beat this one kid pretty easily, and when the match was over, instead of walking off the court, he asked Sam how he served the ball so well, so Sam spent 15 minutes showing this kid how to serve and how to get better.
“Elon is getting a great guy first and a heck of a tennis player second.”