Passion, love, and devotion drive junior Emily Hereford to achieve success in tennis during her time at Dominican.
Last year Hereford succeeded in getting second in flight in her conference. This year she is working hard to do just as well or even better.
She started playing tennis as a child and never stopped. “I give full credit to my parents for getting me into tennis. My mom found tennis camps for me to do when I was little, and my dad still hits with me as much as he can,” she said. Her passion for the sport only grew as her parents encouraged her talent by consistently competing and playing against her. “My family’s support has, and will continue to be, the reason why I still love playing”
Her sophomore year at Visitation Academy in St. Louis, Hereford tried out for the tennis team and began to play competitively. She knew she loved the sport, but in high school she realized it was a true passion. Even going to practices was fun, “When I am playing, whether on my own or at practice, it never feels like work,” Hereford said. “I genuinely enjoy every second that I play tennis.”
Playing at Dominican has put an entirely new twist on the sport. The competition is tougher, and Hereford has had to rise to the challenge. When she plays, she admits she can get a little too competitive at times, but it only drives her further. At times, Hereford admits that she can get overly frustrated with herself, but she has learned to turn that frustration into more of a passion improve for the future.
She practices five to six times a week with her team and goes to the fitness center often to help keep in shape. In the offseason, Hereford said, “I play with my dad a lot and occasionally with friends. It is hard being from a different state than my teammates because I can’t play with them over the summer, but I’m lucky to still be able to play.” By keeping up with the sport, she has greatly improved her game.
Coach Lasn has also been a tremendous help in improving Hereford’s skills. He incorporates new drills and exercises at each practice so that no one gets bored.
Overall, what keeps Hereford coming back is her team. It has become more of a family to her than anything else. “I love being part of a team. I could go hit on my own against a wall every day, but it wouldn’t be the same as playing for a school that I love.” She said, “It gives me a reason to work hard and I love being able to support the other girls on my team for a common goal.”
– Nicole Foley, Sports Editor