Sunday, September 11, 2016
Cayla Pettinato of Harrison hits from the Baseline and Breaks Ahead on her Return
Cayla Pettinato of the Harrison Tennis Team prefers to stay back and hit from the baseline. “My net game isn’t as strong,” she says. But knowing how to put a bad game or two behind is what keeps the senior captain ahead in the overall line score. “I always tell myself think of each new game as a fresh start and don’t worry about being down,” says the All-League singles player.
Earning a spot on the JV in 8th grade, she initially cracked the varsity roster on the doubles card and went from there. “I moved up the ladder into a singles role by junior year,” she says.
Minus the camaraderie of playing with a partner, she still considers tennis a team sport despite going solo these days. “Each match counts toward the final score,” she says, “so it’s a lot of team bonding.”
Nonetheless, she holds up her end for Harrison and makes her breaks with a strong service return. “You have to be on your toes because you never know where the serve is going,” she says. “You have to read the serve off the racquet and get ready to hit a great cross court.”
On the other hand, her allegiance is to the hardest overhand in the game. “I’m a Nadal girl,” she says in admiration of his motivation and drive.
Otherwise, college plans are not yet certain, but she plans to study something in the sciences and in a location that will afford her year round court time. “Somewhere in the south,” she concludes.