Area tennis players benefit from Net Set Ambassador Campaign
Three northern Allegheny County junior tennis players look forward to being better champions after an event they attended recently at the U.S. Tennis Association National Campus in Orlando, Fla.
Angela Huang of Marshall and Ava and Nora Catanzarite of Franklin Park were part of the second Net Set Ambassador Campaign.
Over the course of a weekend, close to 60 players under 18 years old learned from some of the best coaches and trainers in the country.
Huang and the Catanzarite sisters were among six players from the Middle States section and four from Pennsylvania.
Players were identified as having influence in their communities, as well as demonstrating sportsmanship and great attitude on the court.
The camp was part of Net Generation, the USTA youth brand for ages 5 to 18, which helps to raise awareness of tennis and spread the game to young people inside and outside the sport, mostly through social media.
Huang, 13, a North Allegheny seventh-grader, said one of her favorite parts of the weekend was meeting and training with other ambassadors.
“This trip has made me a better advocate because I was able (to) hear from experts (who) helped me see the different styles in training and the different approaches that people (have taken) towards tennis on and off the court,” she said.
Ava Catanzarite, 16, a sophomore who takes academic courses online while attending the Gomez Tennis Academy in Naples, Fla., tried to be a role model. She placed second in girls 16 doubles in the Orange Bowl International championships earlier.
“I got to work with many different kids of many different ages,” she said.
She said it was cool to meet some kids in person who she has been in contact with all year over social media.
“We met with a nutritionist who talked to us about the right kinds of foods and energy needed to succeed,” she said. “I met many coaches who gave me advice on how to further my game.”
Nora Catanzarite, 14, a North Allegheny eighth-grader, said she loved meeting the coaches and players from around the country and making new friends.
“I have learned to always have (a) positive attitude on court because it affects how you play greatly,” she said.
Middle States spokesman Michael Gladysz said the three have been terrific promoters of tennis by how they present themselves and act toward others.
“Not only are they talented players, they are constantly lauded for their sportsmanship,” he said.
Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.