Dillon Pottish grew up in East Quogue, N.Y., a small coastal community on the south shore of Long Island’s East End. As a youngster, his parents encouraged him to play every sport, but he developed a liking for two in particular, tennis and baseball. Knowing that both sports are played in the spring season for high school, Pottish knew that he had to choose one or the other. There was easy access to outdoor tennis courts in his hometown and two indoor clubs to play in for the winter. At first, tennis was his choice, but after committing to it full force, it became his passion.
Pottish remembers his experience on the Westhampton Beach high school tennis team with very fond memories. The team atmosphere, camaraderie and traveling to face distant opponents was all good preparation for college tennis. Being from such a small town and the small community of Long Island, naturally, rivalries were a big part of his high school career and Pottish looked at them as a building block for what was to come. Being a Suffolk County high school tennis player, not to mention one of Suffolk’s elite, the opponents became quite familiar.
Pottish's high school career was successful, as he won the Suffolk County Championship on two occasions, but he had to work extremely hard both on and off court to be able to reach the level he did. He credits his work ethic for helping him in high school and also for being the backbone of his college success.
His college career began at the University of Portland, a Division I school in Oregon. Sports were taken very seriously at Portland and tennis became the number one priority in Pottish’s life. After one year, he knew that finding a balance was important to him, as well as being closer to home and he decided to transfer to the East Coast to Emory University in Atlanta. Emory is known around the country as one of the top academic schools in the nation, and one of the best Division III tennis programs. Beyond the balance between academic and athletic life that he was looking for, the Emory Eagles also provided Pottish with better weather to practice.
Pottish has been ranked as the number one singles player in the D-III ranks the past two seasons, with an overall record of 29-3. Pottish was named the University Athletic Association (UAA) Most Valuable Player all three seasons that he competed for Emory, helping the Eagles to a 25-0 record in 2012. During the fall, he became the first player in school history to win three ITA Regional Singles Championships.
Over the course of his collegiate career, Pottish has an overall record of 92-14, with his victory total good for fourth place on Emory’s all-time list. Pottish also currently holds the school record for highest winning percentage in program history with an .867 mark.
In his recently-completed senior season, Pottish was able to successfully achieve the goals he had set on the court, helping Emory to the Men’s Tennis Division III National Team Title and taking the Men’s Tennis Division III Individual crown with a 6-2, 1-6, 6-2 win over Nick Ballou of Cal Lutheran.
Winning a National Championship as an individual, means that you are the best at your chosen sport, in your given division, in the entire country, while winning as a member of a team, means that, collectively, your team has outperformed every team in the nation for the year.
“Doing both in one year is extra special,” said Pottish.
For his outstanding play in 2011-2012, Pottish was recognized by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) as the Division III National Senior Player of the Year.
As for the future, Pottish plans to give going pro a shot. He is currently training in Atlanta working towards competing in the Futures Tour in late August.
Pottish’s advice to any Long Island high school tennis player is to “definitely explore the Division III option. Use your tennis to get into a great academic school because your degree will be with you the rest of your life.”