September 25, 2013 at 4:32 PM
WEST ORANGE, NJ - It is often hard to find senior Lindsey Tortora without a racket in her hand. Since the age of 5, she has been playing tennis. After taking time off from tennis in middle school due to the competiveness of the game, she decided to pick up her racket once again when entering high school.
As a freshman, she made varsity and began playing first singles.
“Playing varsity tennis as freshman was kind of scary, but at the same time a great feeling… I was one of the only freshmen in the school playing on a varsity sport. I did not have as much pressure as a freshman that I do now because as a freshman, I was just coming back to the sport and was still young. Now that I have been playing a lot more, I have the pressure to win more matches,” Tortora said.
Although only being back at the game for a little over a year, Lindsey's sophomore year record of 9-3 was personal best. Tortora made states her sophomore and junior years as an individual in first singles. This year, she is working towards going to States for a third time and beating her best record. Although she is not planning to play at a collegiate level, she does wish to continue the sport saying, “Tennis, I feel, will always be in my life.”
Had it not been for the inspiration and support of her family, Tortora may never have discovered her ability for the game. Her mother persuaded her to make a return to tennis in high school, but her brother acts as her inspiration. Her brother, Christopher Tortora, plays Division I tennis at Bucknell University and formerly at Seton Hall Prep. “My brother has been the biggest inspiration in the game because I see him accomplish so many goals in this sport and it encourages me to do the same,” says Tortora of her older brother.
Even in her offseason, Tortora continues to perfect her game with tennis instructor, Charlie Guerrier, at the West Orange Tennis Club. “Charlie has always been there for me and acts like he is a part of my family,” says Tortora. With Guerrier, she practices on a regular basis and attends various clinics. She adds, “Charlie has had the biggest influence on my tennis career. He always tries to keep me focused and makes sure I play to the best of my ability.”
Tortora admits that her biggest fear of the game is playing an opponent she knows she can beat, but panicking at the last minute. However, that doesn’t seem to be the case in most of her matches. She has beaten her biggest competitor, Sarah Hall, of Mount Saint Dominic Academy three of the four times they’ve played.
The senior’s passion is unlikely to settle down any time soon as States are impending. Tortora stresses the “importance of strategy, by understanding my opponents strengths and weakness and how I can defeat my opponent.” Such drive and determination will prove successful in Tortora’s path, as she proves that her racket will never be too far from her hand.