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Marina’s Mika Ikemori commits to play women’s tennis at UC Davis

Marina's Mika Ikemori follows through on a forehand during the CIF Southern Section Individuals tournament on Dec. 1.
Marina’s Mika Ikemori follows through on a forehand during the CIF Southern Section Individuals tournament on Dec. 1. Ikemori has verbally committed to play college tennis at UC Davis, she said Monday.
(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

Unlike some student-athletes, Mika Ikemori never put a lot of pressure on herself during the college recruiting process.

The Marina High junior knew that she had some great options in front of her, all representing good chances to play NCAA Division I tennis.

“Everyone’s like, ‘You must feel like a massive weight has been lifted off your shoulders,’ but the way I handled the recruiting process was very relaxed,” she said. “There was never really a huge weight or burden on my shoulders.”

In the end, one school stood out more than the rest.

Ikemori has verbally committed to play college tennis at UC Davis, she said Monday.

Ikemori was the Daily Pilot Girls’ Tennis Dream Team Player of the Year this year for the Vikings. She went 30-3, won the Wave League singles title and advanced to the CIF Southern Section Individuals singles title match, becoming only the second player in program history to accomplish that feat.

Before that run, she took an official recruiting trip to UC Davis in October. Ikemori said she also took trips to UCLA, Iowa State and the University of Arizona.

“The team was so nice and coach [Bill] Maze and [assistant] coach Sara [Jackson] are so nice and so supportive,” Ikemori said. “I felt like the college atmosphere at Davis and the college town was just a really good fit for me overall. I had a gut feeling. I had already weighed out my pros and cons for all of my schools ... and I just had the gut feeling that it was Davis. I didn’t really need to talk and worry about it too much, because I knew it was the right decision.”

Ikemori can sign her national letter of intent to play for the Aggies in November.

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