Tennis courts

The Raiders preferred to clean the tennis courts


This story has been corrected.

Kaiserslautern senior Aiva Schmitz is the two-time reigning DODEA-Europe tennis champion and is heavily favored to win again this week. She has committed to attending the University of Minnesota next year. (Jennifer H. Svan/Stars and Stripes)

It’s hard for Aiva Schmitz to remember a time when she didn’t have a tennis racket in her hands.

The 17-year-old Kaiserslautern senior, the top favorite in women’s singles at the DODEA-Europe Tennis Championships this week, learned a lot about her game from her father, a former German tennis pro who runs a tennis academy.

“I’ve been around tennis all my life,” she said.

And while she’ll be playing her final high school matches this week, it’s far from the end of her tennis career. She has verbally committed to play at the University of Minnesota next year and has an official signing ceremony scheduled for November 11.

Schmitz, who holds dual nationality, won the DODEA title as a freshman and sophomore and was a heavy favorite a year ago before the coronavirus pandemic ended the season. She has been simply dominant this season, losing just one game. That match – a 6-0, 6-1 victory over Wiesbaden’s Hope Goodwin – shows the gap between Schmitz and the pitch. Goodwin, a strong DODEA player, is the No. 2 seed.

Schmitz plays year round. She is No. 7 in her age category in Germany. Raiders coach Eric San Pedro said most of his players also have their racquets close by year-round. That showed this year during the five-week DODEA season as the Kaiserslautern girls didn’t lose a single match. The men’s team did not lose to another team, but lost a few games.

“I’m so lucky to have worked with such great student-athletes,” San Pedro said.

Sophomore Hannah San Pedro will be the Raiders’ second entry in women’s singles. Stella Schmitz and Abigail Hover, both freshmen, are the top-ranked doubles team. They are the Raiders’ No. 2 and No. 3 singles players, but players cannot play in more than one bracket at the tournament in Germany.

Kaiserslautern rookie Tristan Chandler is the No. 1 seed on the boys’ side. Raiders Micah San Pedro and Alexander Brunk are the highest-ranked boys’ doubles team. These three have not lost this year.

Although Kaiserslautern are expected to dominate the game in Wiesbaden from Thursday, they won’t have the chance to do so against the entire DODEA-Europe competition. Due to travel restrictions, Naples is hosting a tournament on the same dates for those based in Italy. And there are also undefeated.

Leonardo Proietti (Marymount International) and Aleigh Lamis (Naples) are the No. 1 seeds in the boys and girls respectively, and neither has lost this season. Marymount also has the No. 1 ranked boys’ and girls’ doubles teams.

Nearly three dozen students will play on four courts in Italy to determine the winners on Saturday. Unlike Germany, players will be allowed to compete in singles and doubles.

Spectators will not be allowed in Wiesbaden. The Naples tournament will be played outdoors and spectators will be able to attend.

Ranking of the DODEA-Europe championship

(Thursday-Saturday in Wiesbaden)



1. Tristan Chandler (Kaiserslautern), 2. Collin Ritter (Ramstein), 3. Noah Shive (Stuttgart), 4. Anthony DeWeese (Wiesbaden), 5. Caleb Gin (Kaiserslautern), 6. Keegan Cornelius (Ramstein), 7. Ian Bishop (Wiesbaden), 8. Zachary Call (SHAPE).


1. Micah San Pedro/Alexander Brunk (Kaiserslautern), 2. Nathan Gillespie/Roberto Cotto (Ramstein), 3. Beckham Witty/James Rogers (Hohenfels), 4. Evan Hanson/Riley Smith (Stuttgart), 5. Casey Anderson/ Max Berlin (AFNORTH), 6. Noah Winters/Nicholas Beier (Wiesbaden), 7. Amaree Barrier/Anderson Ennis (Kaiserslautern), 8. Oscar Paz/Jackson Patton (Ramstein).



1. Aiva Schmitz (Kaiserslautern), 2. Hope Goodwin (Wiesbaden), 3. Samantha Moran (Spangdahlem), 4. Meredith Maxwell (Ansbach), 5. Sophia Bucker (Spangdahlem), 6. Zoe Crawford (Vilseck), 7. Hannah San Pedro (Kaiserslautern), 8. Nikol Bain (SHAPE).


1. Stella Schmitz/Abigail Hover (Kaiserslautern) 2. Violet-Marie Williams/Erin Whitten (Stuttgart), 3. Madalin Svan/Grace Hudson-Pineda (Ramstein), 4. Sophia Giglio/Bella Rainey (Wiesbaden), 5. Devin French/Kiera French (Stuttgart), 6. Stephanie Tiede/Megan Jackson (Alconbury), 7. Brooke Rawcliffe/Isabella Wagers (Kaiserslautern), 8. Kate Farrell/Kelly Farrell (Hohenfels).

Ranking of the DODEA-South Championship

(Thursday-Saturday in Naples)

(The first three)



1. Leonardo Proietti (Marymount), 2. Lawrence Cano (Sigonella), 3. Samuel Stutzman (Naples).


1. Marymount (Proietti/Brian Hoton), 2. Sigonella (Caro/Sebestyen Hriczu), 3. Vicenza (Sam Grady/Andrew Reed).



1. Aleigh Lamis (Naples), 2. Isabella Nudi (Marymount), 3. Clara Clayton (American Overseas School of Rome).


1. Marymount (Nudi/Allegra Vittigli), 2. AOSR (Clayton/Laila Sadiddin), 3. Napoli (Lamis/Lilliana Stutzman).


Micah San Pedro was incorrectly identified in an earlier version of this article.

Kent Harris

Kent has served in many roles at Stars and Stripes including: editor, news editor, editor, reporter/photographer, web editor and overseas sports writer. Based at Aviano Air Base, Italy, he has been TDY in countries including Afghanistan, Iraq, Kosovo and Bosnia. Born in California, he graduated in 1988 from Humboldt State University and has been a journalist for nearly 38 years.



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