by Andrew Garda

“Next man up” is a concept you hear a lot about in sports. It’s the idea that no matter your position on the depth chart, you might suddenly find yourself playing in a different spot.

That’s just the position Montclair High School senior tennis captain Jordan White found herself in after the first round of the Essex County Tournament last Thursday, Sept. 20.

When second singles player Samantha Nochimson fell ill and had to be replaced, Mounties coach Dawn DeMayo knew she could count on White to step up.

“She hung in there with some points and I told her she had to step it up and she did,” DeMayo said.

Even against Millburn, the top-ranked tennis team in the state, White was confident.

“I just had to keep my head focused on the game and think about one thing: winning,” she said. “I have to keep my ball within the lines, and figure out how my opponent plays and how I should play them and try to be better than the other person.”

White was kind enough to chat with us and let Montclair get to know her a little better.

Have you looked at colleges?

My number one college is the University of Miami, and my second one is the University of South Carolina.

What attracted you to them?

The University of Miami, it’s just a great school. [Tennis] is one of the main attractions as to how I got there. And my mom went to the University of South Carolina. At first I was like “No I don’t want to go,” but once I saw the campus and the whole culture I was like “It’s actually a nice school.”

What about a major?

I would like to study psychology and minor in communications.  I’m pretty good with helping people out, I do a lot of community service and I’m good at talking to people, so I’m trying to move that into communications, and then psychology, and talking to different people.

Do you have a hobby?

I do community service at Toni’s Kitchen. I’m part of the teen volunteer board that one of the main people there started about two years ago, but it’s becoming a bigger thing. We’re trying to get more teens to take part in it. So I do that almost every other weekend. I also like to draw. and color a lot. It helps me relax. And I love to dance. I do modern dance.

Will you play tennis in college?
I would like to. I’m going to try out for the team and I’ve already done all the applications for the NCAA and stuff. If I don’t make it, then maybe I’ll join a club, but I would like to keep playing tennis.