It’s the first time a seventh grade tennis player from Quitman Junior High has ever qualified for the state tournament. Niyah is scheduled to play on May 8th at Parham Bridges Tennis Center in Jackson. QHS Tennis coach Donna Evans explains, “It is awesome that she qualified at such a young age. She is a first year player and played girls singles this year. She had an overall record of 6-6 and a district record of 2-2. Niyah was the 3rd seed going into the district tournament and defeated Northeast Jones to place 2nd in the district tournament.”
Though the young tennis star only joined the school’s tennis team this year, Niyah began taking lessons when she was in fourth grade. What was then something she watched her sisters do has now become more of a family activity.
“I watched my sisters when they took lessons, and I liked it because it was fun. Now my Dad takes lessons, too. We take them in Laurel every Wednesday, and every weekend we go to the courts and play tennis as a family. During tennis season our team practices after school on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. We do practice a lot, but I still need some help on my backhand and some extra work on my service.”
When asked how she feels about playing in the state tournament, Niyah replies,
“I’m nervous, but I get that way until I start moving around. Once I start playing, I’m fine. Playing tennis calms me.”