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Tennis star courts ticket to CIF

Jamie Kim news editor

Despite being one of the youngest players on the girls varsity tennis team, freshman Hannah Kimura brought hard-earned skill and dedication to the game.

Kimura, who has been playing played tennis for five years, will be the only girl on the team advancing to the first round of girls tennis singles in the CIF competition on Monday, Nov. 21. To qualify for CIF, Kimura had to reach the finals of the Ocean League tournament, for which only the top three single players on the team were allowed to play.

“I think [being able to go to CIF] is pretty cool and a little intimidating at the same time, but I’m excited,” Kimura said.

Kimura described her qualification to the preliminary rounds as rewarding because she devotes many hours to practicing. After practicing at school, she trains at the La Cienega Tennis Center for two more hours.

“It hasn’t been hard to balance academics and sports. I think because it’s something that I really enjoy doing, having to go to practice doesn’t bore me,” she said.

Her favorite aspect of tennis is how it allows every player to pick himself/herself back up.

“I like the game and how it’s spread out over a long period of time,” Kimura said. “Even if you’re down by points, you can always get back up, and it’s one point at a time.”

Team captain Justine Elitzur commented on Kimura’s potential for even higher success with the passing of time.

“In Ocean League finals, she played really well against a tough opponent, and it’s great that our team has a player in CIF. I think she’ll do really well and since she’s only a freshman, I know she will accomplish a lot during the rest of her time at Beverly,” Elitzur said.

Additionally, coach YuYu Myinttun credited Kimura’s success to her hard work and determination.

Hannah is gearing up for CIF and is practicing as much as she can to get ready for the tournament. She has worked very hard to get to where she is now. She is dedicated and determined to do her best in CIF,” Myinttun said. “As her coach, I’m proud to have her on our team and representing our school in CIF.  Hannah is a team player, she cares for her teammates and is a joy to be around.”

Kimura’s future goal is to play tennis at the collegiate level, but for now, she is still focusing on improving her skills. Having obtained a P.E. contract for tennis, she plans on devoting more time to the sport that has taught her to persevere.

“This is really cheesy, but playing tennis has taught me to never give up. I could lose the first set and still win the whole match,” Kimura said with a giggle. “It’s taught me to be mentally patient, which is something other sports haven’t done yet.”

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