Julia Ortiz really wants to play college tennis. The odds of that happening are long, which Ortiz knows.
She also knows the more she wins on the court the better her chances get.
To that end, the Chandler junior set the goal of going undefeated this season.
Ortiz accomplished that during the regular season, winning each of her singles matches (she did lose twice playing doubles), which earned her the Chandler Unified School District Player of the Year honor and the No. 6 seed in the state tournament.
Ortiz’s first loss came in the quarterfinals to Chaparral’s Rebecca Salaway, who ended up taking second.
“She has very high expectations of herself,” first-year Chandler coach Jen Crozier said. “I had heard a lot about her and gotten the idea she was very talented. And she was, and very dedicated to her play and to getting better.”
Ortiz, the Tribune’s Girls Tennis Player of the Year, was propelled to a standout season by the frustration of her 2013 campaign.
“That season wasn’t as great as this one. It was hard,” Ortiz said. “I lost matches I shouldn’t have lost, pretty much every single one I should have won. I was better prepared this year.”
Ortiz already set at least one goal for her senior season: make it top the state championship match. After three years she knows what it takes.
Ortiz lost to the eventual state champion in both her freshman and sophomore seasons, and then to the runner-up this year.
“That showed me what I need to do,” Ortiz said. “I want to go farther next year. I feel like I can go to the finals next year. I assume I can definitely make it farther if I work hard.”
Crozier has not doubts and has seen Ortiz’s work ethic both on the court and in her human anatomy class.
“I kind of laugh about it now ... but she is very aggressive on the court, which is different than she is in class. She is quiet in class but just as successful.”
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