SPORTS FAMILIES: Nguyen, lose or draw

It wasn’t until Sunlee and Helen Nguyen’s oldest daughter started playing on the Meadowbrook tennis team as a freshman that tennis exploded with popularity in the Nguyen household. Now, it’s a way of life.

“We moved here from California and we used to hit tennis balls against the wall of our middle school for fun,” explained Lisa Nguyen, a 2013 Meadowbrook graduate. “After my freshman year of high school my whole family started to play.”

Then head coach Victor Smith saw potential in Lisa, and taught her more about the game. After that, you might say the family caught “tennis fever,” including dad, younger siblings and current top seeds on the Monarchs tennis team Linda (girls), Leewood (boys), and youngest sister Leeana, who is a seventh-grader at Falling Creek Middle School.

“We would go after school and play for two or three hours a day,” explained Lisa. “We’d play practice games and work on different techniques.”
Last year ended on a positive note for both the Nguyens and the Meadowbrook tennis program, as Linda and Lisa finished third in the Central District in the doubles tournament, and Linda, who is now a senior, finished third individually.

“To think we were able to put Meadowbrook tennis on the map in the district was amazing,” said Lisa. “I was proud to be able to make an impact in high school tennis.”
Speaking of impact, Linda and Leewood aren’t done.

Linda proved last season that she could compete within the district, and she’s expected to compete for the Conference 12 crown, and a spot in regionals. The senior is also a role model in the classroom with great grades while taking AP classes.

“She’s a powerhouse,” said Meadowbrook Tennis head coach James Freeman. “Extremely focused and fiercely competitive.”

Leewood is a sophomore, and is honing his skills as a defensive style tennis player. Already a top seed, he’s also honing his leadership skills.

“He’s like a wall, nothing gets past him,” said Freeman. “He’s got a great mental game and has been pretty much unshakeable.”

Both Linda and Leewood have been bright spots this year for a program that’s trying to gain traction toward building a winner. It’s started with winning games; and with winning games, winning matches will come. Headway is being made, and the program is going in the right direction. All Meadowbrook tennis and other spring sports results can be found daily on twitter @VNewsSports.

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