Alexandra Bongo,  NHS senior, Tennis team

“Wonderful, responsible team player, always willing to help, doubles player moved up from second to first doubles this year, listens to me and tries her hardest to improve, all around pleasure and easy to coach. Most improved. Her record is 3-0 so far.”
— Coach Valerie Martin

How did you get interested in playing tennis?
When I was 7 years old I would always play with my grandpa. He told me how my aunt and uncle played tennis when they were in high school. My grandpa told me they were both captains on the varsity team. I was motivated and inspired to continue playing tennis because of how much fun their experience was.

Who are are your favorite tennis players? How come?
When I was younger and my grandpa would babysit me, he would sometimes talk about tennis players that he likes. He showed me this player named John Newcombe. I know he doesn’t play anymore, but back then I thought he was really great at serving and volleying the ball.

What are some of the strengths of your game?
When I play my game, I feel really strong with my ground strokes. I feel especially strong with my forehand when hitting normal ground strokes or lobs. My lobs are just as powerful because most of our opponents don’t seem to stay consistent after a while. When serving, I seem to have a great advantage because the other girls don’t always return the ball with great power.

What are your individual goals and team goals for the season?
My goal for the season as a team is to practice any area that we have difficulty in. For me, I want to improve my confidence at the net for my doubles game.

How do you get pumped up for a match?
When we have a match, my motivation comes from me wanting to win. I’ve always been really competitive when it comes to sports or video games that I’ve had a lot of experience with. So when my partner and I get on the court, I always want to win against any team.
Do you participate in any other clubs or extracurricular activities?
Besides tennis, I do volunteer work at the Nutley Public Library with two good friends during the summer. During my freshman year of volunteering, I organized and packaged books and DVDs. During my sophomore year, I distributed summer reading prizes to kids with my two friends.

What kind of music do you listen to? Any favorite musical artists?
I mostly listen to pop songs on the radio in the car. When I’m home relaxing, I would listen to songs from my favorite TV shows or video games. Currently, my favorite band is Panic at the Disco.

Did you do anything fun over the summer?
Over the summer, I went to upstate New York to visit my aunt, uncle, and cousin. We went swimming, walked on the beach, and went to the mall. Since my aunt is vegan, she brought me to a vegan cafe for lunch where we ate falafel wraps. At the end of the trip, my family said we might go to Disney next time we see my aunt and her family.