Marlee Zein and Morgan Hoang signed national letters of intent last Wednesday at the Dulles High School college signing day program.
Zein will play tennis at the University of Florida, and Hoang will join the gymnastics team at Stanford University.
“Both girls are very good students and they represent the school well,” Patty Priddy, Dulles girls athletic coordinator and head tennis coach, said. “We are so proud of Morgan going to Stanford on a gymnastics scholarship. That is incredible from our school. She is just a lovely young lady. I coached Marlee, and she played so well that she began to play in national tournaments. It has been a very good year for Marlee.”
Zein is the youngest of four tennis-playing sisters, and had large tennis shoes to fill. Melissa played tennis at Prairie View A&M, Maya played tennis at the University of Texas at Austin where she was on the Academic All-Big 12 second team, and Mariam played tennis for the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. In 2012, Mariam, playing for coach Priddy, won a state championship in tennis.
While Marlee is the youngest, she has claimed family bragging rights as a college recruit. Melissa and Maya were 4-Star college recruits, Mariam was a 5-Star, and Marlee is a Blue Chip, the highest college recruiting classification.
Zein is currently ranked 77th in the United States Tennis Association under 18 rankings. In October, Zein finished second in the Pan American ITF Championships in Tulsa. Last summer, Zein won the Davis Trading Junior ITF Vancouver Championships, and the Canadian Saville ITF Championship. She will enroll at Florida in September 2018.
“I really liked the Florida campus and the atmosphere of the school. As soon as I stepped on campus and saw everything, I knew it was the place for me,” Zein said. “The coaches and the girls on the team are amazing. I am just so excited. Everyone told me that when you know, you will know, and I knew that Florida was the place for me. Plus being the defending NCAA champs is nice. I am really excited about what we can do next year.
“My mother is really excited about me leaving for school, but I know she is going to miss me. She keeps saying that they will go on all of these vacations and trips, but I think a lot of those trips will be to Gainesville.”
Hoang started gymnastics when she was three years old along with her older sister. But when her sister grew too tall to be an elite gymnast, Morgan continued with the sport.
“I started gymnastics because I had too much energy as a child, and my mother decided I needed to use that energy in a sport. Gymnastics was the first sport we tried. I automatically had a love for it, and picked it up right away,” Hoang said. “I am better at the floor exercise and the vault, but the floor exercise is my best event. I like to dance, and I am really good at tumbling. It kind of comes natural for me.”
Hoang is a member of the Houston Gymnastics Center of the Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center. Recently she won the floor exercise and the balance beam events at the Houston National Invitational, and won the floor exercise and tied for the vault exercise in the Chow’s Challenge – Senior C Division competition.
Hoang appreciates the free education she has earned, and that Silicon Valley is nearby.
“I plan on studying economics, and I will probably do co-terming, which allows me to get my MBA (Masters in Business Administration) in less than six years. I am also interested in environmental engineering. I took an advanced class in environmental engineering here at Dulles and it sparked my interest in that area. I am not sure which way to go,” Hoang said. “After I graduate from Stanford, I intend to stay out in Silicon Valley and start my own company. I have been thinking about that since seventh grade. Stanford University has been my dream since seventh grade. It’s kind of surreal that it is coming true.”