Junior Tennis Player Valentina Martinez Earns Player of the Week, Looks to Improve


Valentina Martinez

This past week, women’s tennis player Valentina Martinez was named Heartland Conference Player of the Week. Upon receiving the news, Martinez said she was initially really surprised, since this has been the first time she has been awarded this honor. Martinez said that this accomplishment will definitely lead to a positive mentality throughout the remainder of the season. 

“It just boosts my confidence… it helps me going forward with my mindset for the rest of my matches,” said Martinez.

Since the age of six, Martinez has always been interested in  learning about tennis. Because her mother used to play, Martinez was able to observe the sport first-hand. Martinez then enrolled in lessons where she learned about the structure of the game and how to perfect her craft.

As a result of her time in the tennis program, Martinez has gained useful experience when facing some of the team’s biggest challenges.

“Our conference is really good, so we always have a tough time,” Martinez said.

Although her conference opponents are strong, Martinez remains optimistic and credits her teammates for their familiarity with conference opponents which offers her team an edge during competition. With the team’s collective experience in the conference, Martinez stressed the importance of maintaining an awareness of their opponents capabilities.

“I think St. Mary’s has always been our biggest rival… But I think this year we have a better chance than the years before because we all have so much experience and we’ve seen these teams before, so there’s no surprises,” she said.

Though she also competes in singles, Martinez says that playing in doubles is a great way to work with others and an additional opportunity to see the game from different perspectives. Martinez said that one of her most recent doubles partners, Beth Hayward, has helped her maintain her composure while on the court.

“Her attitude on the court is really chill and calm and I know that even if I can’t get there, she’ll get there. We’re always there for each other,” said Martinez.

As for what she would like to accomplish as the season progresses, Martinez has some of the goals in mind that she would like to meet for both herself and the team.

“Our major goal is winning conference every year by trying to stay confident in every match…going out there and just doing our best,” Martinez said

But personally, Martinez expresses that she constantly strives to improve, all in order to become the best version of herself.

“Every season I just hope to be better than past seasons and winning the most matches that I possibly can.”