Nutley Female Athlete of the Month

Alexandra Protter NHS senior Tennis team

“Allie has been with me for four years. She is very friendly, a team player and is willing to work hard on her game. She started as a doubles player and is at first singles this year. She is the captain and is an asset to the team. Unfortunately we are in a very tough division this year and are playing some of the top teams in the state, therefore she is not seeing many wins in her positions, however, her game has improved a lot over the years and she is always willing to listen and learn from her coach. It will be a big loss this year as she graduates.
— Coach Val Martin

What got you interested in playing tennis?
I developed an interest in tennis throughout my summers at sleep-away camp. I began to pick up the sport quite easily and longed to play the sport competitively. As I approached the eighth grade, I started pursuing private lessons which then excelled me to varsity tennis my freshman year.

What is your favorite memory of playing tennis?
My favorite memory of playing tennis is the first doubles match I won my freshman year. As a new student from the city, I saw the varsity team as quite intimidating and somewhat scary. Once I accomplished my first win, I felt a sense of belonging where my apprehension began to diminish and my confidence strengthened.

What are your goals as a player and for the team this season?
As a team, I hope our confidence increases as our season progresses. As a whole, we all work very well together and have a family-like bond where we feel comfortable and secure with each other.
As an individual, I hope my fortitude intensifies and my perseverance remains where my confidence never fails me in my matches.

What advice would you give a player who is learning the sport?
For new players, it’s as simple as don’t give up. It sounds easy but you can not let one ‘bad’ match or one ‘bad’ day deter you from your potential. Know yourself and your worth and work on just YOU. Practice, practice, practice.

Are you involved in any other hobbies or extracurricular activities?
Beyond tennis, I’m very interested in the arts. I have the privilege of being a part of Nutley High School’s Thespian Society and the school orchestra. I am a Student Council member, Democratic Club president, United Club Vice President, Women’s Activism secretary, and a Prism member.

Who are your role models? Do you have a favorite pro tennis player?
I look up to Billie Jean King because of her perseverance and ambition. Beyond this, Billie has played a huge role in shaping equality between men and women throughout the tennis world. Billie Jean King further resembles the person who I want to become, one who is not afraid of taking a stand and continues to fight, both on and off the court.

Did you do anything fun over the summer?
Over the summer I worked as a camp counselor at Ramapo Country day camp. Here, I worked with children as young as 4 and as old as 12. It was such an enlightening experience that I hope to have the privilege to pursue it again.

What are your post-high school plans?
After high school I am planning on attending a college where I will study psychology and politics. With this being said, I am still unsure as to what I want to pursue, but I am excited to begin my journey in figuring it out!