Of USC and Cal Poly, which would you choose to attend? For tennis star Andre Dome, the decision was simple.
The Arroyo Grande High senior signed his letter of intent to play at Cal Poly in the fall on a full-ride scholarship – despite offers from USC, a program which has one 15 NCAA Division I men’s singles titles, in addition to Washington State and every Big West Conference school.
“It’s such an honor just to be recruited,” Dome said.
Cal Poly, it turned out, was the right place for him. He said the area is nice (he was born in Indonesia but has lived in Arroyo Grande since he was 5) and thinks highly of Cal Poly.
“Cal Poly is academically one of the best schools in California,” he added. “It’s a good opportunity to grow.”
Dome gives colleges good reason to recruit him. He was ranked No. 32 in the final 2006 United States Tennis Association’s National Junior rankings. On May 2, Dome fought hard for a 7-6 (7-5), 6-4 victory over San Luis Obispo’s Julian Arnold for his fourth-straight PAC 7 League championship.
Dome hopes to gain a lot from the one-on-one coaching that Cal Poly can offer under Justin McGrath, who will be entering his third year at the helm.
“I can’t wait to get on the courts next year,” Dome said.
His decision to remain in the area was influenced by a number of locals who have helped him grow and improve, and can continue to help him here. His longtime mentor, Hugh Bream – the Cal Poly women’s tennis head coach – has been coaching Dome on a personal basis since the latter was 12 years old.
“He started coaching me individually because I wanted my game to grow,” Dome said.
Bream said Dome could help building Cal Poly into a top-tier program.
“He has a lot of potential,” Bream said. “With a lot of hard work, he can be a great Division 1 player.”
Bream noted that Dome is excited to play in front of the friends and family he has known in growing up on the Central Coast, but that the college level is much more difficult and will test his talents and strengths.
“He has everything he needs to reach his potential,” Bream said of Dome. “This is a great opportunity for both Andre and the team.”
Though he said his father John wanted him to play tennis, Dome has always enjoyed tennis since he began playing at the age of 5.
Dome aims to reach the Junior U.S. Open next year.
“I want to be a professional,” said Dome, who plans to major in business. “I want to play after college, but if that doesn’t work out, I’ll still have a degree, so it will be a win-win situation.”