When we last left off with the story of 12-year-old Mia Vecchio in the September/October 2009 edition of Long Island Tennis Magazine, she was preparing herself for tryouts for the Herricks High School varsity tennis team. Going in as a 7th grader, the odds were against her to make the squad, but Mia was not deterred and was feeling “ready for the challenge” and more than ready to “prove herself.”
Mia not only made the Herricks High School girl’s varsity tennis team, but ended up playing first singles this season.
At the time this issue went to press (midway through the girl’s varsity season), we caught up with Mia to see how tryouts went and how the season was progressing so far.
Mia started by telling us that the tryout process was surprisingly enjoyable (other than the physical fitness aspect of tryouts of course where she did a lot of running and chin-ups). She also said she “wasn’t too nervous” going into the tryouts, but that any nervousness quickly disappeared as the tryouts progressed and her confidence grew. With each win, her confidence grew. What also grew was the respect that Mia’s teammates had for her. As a 7th grader playing on the varsity team at a high school, it can be hard to gain respect from the older team members. Mia said she thinks her performing well helped the girls recognize her as an equal.
She was also able to make friends.
“The girls have been really nice and have accepted me as part of the team,” said Mia. “We are all friendly and it’s nice to be part of a team. Usually in tennis, everything is individual.”
Mia’s parents, Rudy and Lorraine Vecchio, as well as her coach, Alana Broderick, come out to support her at all of her matches as well, which has helped ease the transition to the world of high school tennis.
At the time of this interview, Mia was 7-0 and still undefeated on the season. She qualified for the Nassau County tournament where she won her first round match before falling 10-7 to Jackie Raynor, a junior from Garden City, in the second round.
Mia is very happy with how this season has turned out so far.
“I feel that with the practice time I have put in, as well as playing in USTA tournaments, has prepared me well for high school competition,” said Mia.
She plans on traveling to a few more national tournaments this year (where she has already experienced success) and then playing high school tennis again next season.
“My goals next season are to go undefeated in league play and then qualify for states,” said Mia. “I am really looking forward to the challenge.”