Athlete of the Week: Vittoria Ragni

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Foreign exchange programs are designed to expose students to new cultures.
And as Taylor Kauffman shows us, this week's Athlete of the Week is fitting right in with the Spearfish girls' tennis team.
Do you know how to pronounce her last name? Doug says, 'Ragni. Yup, swallow the 'g'.'

Vittoria says, 'Ragni.' Ok, I'm not going to try it.

Vittoria is a foreign exchange student from Italy.

Vittoria says, 'I really like it, it's really different. You have a lot of candies - I enjoy it. I think I'm going to take a luggage just with Reese's.'
bite about Reese's

While her home country doesn't have some of the candy that she's discovered in America, it does have one thing: tennis.

Vittoria says, 'It's pretty good. I like it so much, and it's less under pressure here, so you focus more on the fun - the fun things. But, yes, it's another level.'

She's been playing tennis in Italy since she was a little girl.

Vittoria says, 'I started when I was six, but for like 30 minutes a day for a week, and I started really hard when I was 12 playing four days a week for two hours.'
Doug says, 'Now, she has a lot of court time behind her, and that's something our girls right now, don't have.'

She's bringing her experience to Spearfish, playing this season as a Spartan.

Hannah says, 'She has amazing serves, and then her attitude is probably the best.'
Doug says, 'Very good athlete. She's very competitive, she's a good all-court player, she's got some great strokes.'

And her team is glad to have her.

Hannah says, 'I think everyone loves her, and everyone loves to have her on the team. She fits in nice, and it's just funner with her here.'

Vittoria is playing as the number one for Spearfish, holding a 14-3 record so far this season - and ranked the third-best player in the state.

You're number three in the state -
Vittoria says, 'Really? I didn't know. That's cool'
Hannah says, 'I didn't know that, that's awesome.'
Yeah, so what do you think about that?
Hannah says, 'It doesn't surprise me that much because she's amazing, and I love her and everything, but that's just awesome to hear.'

Bona fortua, Vittoria. Best of luck to you the rest of the season, and congratulations for being this week's Powerade Athlete of the Week. For Black Hills FOX Sports, I'm Taylor Kauffman.>