Zappia played at McKinney Boyd High School for coaches Kristen Crawford and Dennis Dougherty. While with the Broncos, Zappia compiled a record of 10-2 in singles and 9-3 in doubles play during his senior season. He was the first freshman to reach first singles in school history, playing at that spot all four seasons, earning three team Most Valuable Player awards and playing in the regional tournament four seasons. Ranked 19th in the state of Texas, Zappia reached the doubles finals and singles semifinals at the San Antonio Super Championship in 2009. He also won age group titles in 2008 Super Championship competitions in Dallas and Austin and reached the finals of the USTA's National Open in Frisco, TX in 2007.
"Travis is going to come in and make an impact for us right away," said Nickell. "He has the athleticism, character and intelligence that we demand here at UB, and we are excited to have him start this fall."
Zappia decided to attend UB because of "an amazing coach who instills a good work ethic in all the players and all the guys on the team were very welcoming and supportive." Zappia chose UB over Louisiana-Lafayette and Southern Illinois-Edwardsville.
The Bulls are coming off their best season since joining the Mid-American Conference in 1999. UB won the regular season league title with an undefeated 5-0 mark and finished 13-7 overall. The Bulls advanced to the finals of the MAC Tournament for the first time in school history.