Star-Bulletin Sports

Wednesday, May 12, 1999

H A W A I I _P R E P _ S P O R T S

By Dennis Oda, Star-Bulletin
Erin Hoe, who will concentrate on winning the state
tennis title, says tennis is the sport that will hopefully
earn her a college scholarship.

Hoe aims to
keep streak alive

The Mililani junior passes
on track to go after her
third state tennis title

By Cindy Luis


IT would have been the most unique shuttle relay had Mililani High School junior Erin Hoe decided to double up on her state championship chances this week on Maui.

Art Hoe, the top seed in the state tennis tournament in Wailea, could have also been competing in the state track meet nearly an hour's drive away at War Memorial Stadium in Wailuku.

Last month, she was the leadoff runner on the Trojans' 4x100 relay team that set a meet record. Earlier that day, Hoe had helped Mililani to the OIA team championship in tennis.

"I thought about it (doing both) but I decided to concentrate on tennis," said Hoe, the two-time defending girls' singles champ. "I like track, but I know I'm not good enough to get a track scholarship to college. But I'm hoping that tennis will take me there."

Hoe's times in the 100- and 200-meter races were good enough that she was included during the seeding discussions for the state track meet. And during last Friday's OIA championships on her home track she wistfully watched from the stands.

"There's more of a teamness to track and I like that part."

But once she hits the court, it's her, her racket and the untalked-about streak. Hoe has not lost a match in three years of varsity competition.

"I guess there should be pressure, being unbeaten, but I don't think about it," Hoe said. "I'm not thinking that, if I lose, then I will ruin my record. I don't count (the wins), I just know I haven't lost.

"If I started counting, then that would put the pressure on."

Her coach, May Ann Beamer, also doesn't keep track of the winning streak.

"We go into each match fresh," said Beamer. "That way Erin doesn't have to worry about her seed or have any expectations. She has really good focus. It's like a job to her.

"Her chances (to win) at states are very good. We've been working real hard toward that end, but we're not taking any person or team lightly. We're preparing her to be her best when her best is needed."

Tennis was Hoe's first sport. She picked up a racket 12 years ago, following her two older brothers to the court.

"For a time I was getting burned out, but now I'm enjoying the game and the competition again."

Hoe has a shot at history this week, seeking to become just the fourth female to win three state tennis titles since singles competition began in 1963. The last was Punahou's Betsy Somerville, who won as a freshman, sophomore and senior, the last title coming in 1986.

"I'm kind of nervous about the states but I'm looking forward to it," said Hoe. "It should be fun. I'm hoping my chances are pretty good, but you never can tell. Somebody else could have a really 'on' day."

Hoe's schedule is full, hectic and diverse. She takes piano lessons, is involved in student government and has a class load that includes ceramics, analytical geometry, physics and advanced placement psychology.

"It's been a stressful year," she said. "Piano has helped. It relieves all the stress from school and I can let everything out.

"I think piano and tennis go hand in hand. Both have helped me with my focus."

Hoe's kept her focus on tennis, despite her track accomplishments.

"I told her she could do track IF tennis was her first priority," said Beamer. "Track is good for her tennis. Track may be on her mind, but tennis comes first.

"She's definitely a college player. She works very hard, is always looking to improve. A lot of times she'll call me to go out and hit some balls. I'm hoping she'll get a scholarship, too."

Some of Beamer's players have gone on to Harvard, MIT and BYU. Hoe hasn't decided where she might go.

"I like California," she said. "I'll start deciding this summer.

"I'm thinking about studying and getting into law school. I just want to get to college and then figure it out from there."

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