Santa Maria Sun / Athlete of the Week
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 13, Issue 27
Athlete(s) of the Week: Kacy Ortiz and Alissa Laventes
BY KRISTINA SEWELL
The age-old adage “good things come in pairs” will never get old, especially with such proof in the dynamic tennis duo from Orcutt Academy.
Kacy Ortiz and Alissa Laventes—both going into their senior year of high school—bring unique talents to their tennis partnership. Kacy, fearless and outspoken, adds power and passion to the court. Alissa, calm and quiet, provides rational thought and intense focus.
According to coach Patrick Ortiz, Kacy and Laventes feed off each other’s strengths.
“Kacy has a lot of power, while Alissa is stern and keeps Kacy focused,” Patrick said. “Kacy fears nothing on the court, and Alissa feeds off that confidence.”
Patrick expects them to have a stellar season of tennis together. He’s coached both girls all four years and describes them as super student-athletes and solid tennis players.
“They’ve done a lot of work on and off the court during the off season, a lot of conditioning and Zumba,” he said. “It truly is a year-round program.”
Both athletes got the honor of being senior captains, in part because of their work ethic and strong leadership.
In a sense, Kacy was destined to be a tennis player.
“Everyone in my family plays,” she said.
Starting tennis at age 5, Kacy said she didn’t get serious about the sport until junior high school. In her junior year, she finished the season 15-2. With the nostalgia of senior year taking hold, Kacy has goals for this season: “I would like to not lose at all and make it far in CIF. Personally, I want to work on my serve and being more consistent.”
Alissa, who started tennis when Coach Patrick Ortiz decided to get serious about the sport, is as solid a player as her partner. After taking some lessons at the country club, she fell in love with the sport.
Last season, Alissa admitted, was rough. Playing as an alternate singles player, she said the one good thing was that she improved her fitness.
“But playing doubles is much more fun,” she said.
A 4.0 student, Alissa has focus both on and off the court.
“My mindset is always 6-0, 6-0, 6-0,” she said. “I want to stay a starter and push for the No. 1 spot with a lot more wins than losses.”
Alissa and Kacy have been friends since they first set foot on the tennis court at Orcutt Academy their freshman year. By now, they understand each other’s personalities and how to motivate one another.
“We need to make sure we stay focused, stay on track, and be there for each other,” Kacy said.
With an 8-1 record so far, the pair’s senior season is off to a good start, and they both said they’re having a lot of fun. Both girls are looking forward to making some final lasting memories with the team.
After they wrap up at Orcutt Academy, both girls are headed off to college. Kacy will make her way to beautiful Santa Barbara City College where she’s looking to redshirt her freshman year before joining the tennis team.
Alissa doesn’t plan on playing college tennis so she can focus on her academics, but where her education will take her is still up in the air.
“These girls have bought into the program and worked really hard,” Patrick said. “It’s been an honor to coach them.”
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