Every Jr. Team Tennis program from across the country strives to bring home the national championship back home to their section. Many teams want the glory, while others want the experience... but one team wants to win it for a very different reason.
The USTA Southern California 14U Advanced team from South El Monte would love to win a National title - but they aren’t in it for themselves.
They hope to win for one of their teammates who is unable to compete in the tournament this year.
During warm-ups a few months ago, Isabella Lopez stepped on a tennis ball, lost her balance and landed on her wrist, leaving her in a cast and dashing any hopes of competing for the first time at Nationals with her team.
"Isabella has always been known as the girl with the biggest heart," said coach John Wong. "Her heart and team spirit will no doubt carry us through this tournament."
"We want to dedicate this tournament to Isabella," said teammate Megan Lee. She’s a great member of our team and our inspiration. We know that she would want to be here cheering us on if she could."
While the team hopes to win the tournament, they all seem to be perfectly happy knowing that Isabella will be proud of them no matter how they do.
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