Local sports — St. Croix
V.I. Tennis Youth Growing in Competition and Numbers
Youth Tennis has had a resurgence of popularity in the Virgin Islands, and it shows in the level of competition to which its players have risen.
In the last two weekends in May, in Humacao, Puerto Rico, several players did exceptionally well, returning for a second weekend to fight their way up in the competition to rise to high levels in the Junior Sectional Tournament. Tomas Del Olmo (from St. John) and his partner won the 12-and-under doubles category in a nail-biting tiebreaker. Del Olmo got fourth overall in the singles division. Jordan Lawrence and Julian DiPersio of St. Croix earned their way to the semi and quarter finals of the consolation category of the 14-and-under age division. Russell Armstrong and Alec Kuipers also made it to the quarterfinals in the consolation round in the 12 and under division, holding running rankings in the top 15 in Puerto Rico. This is impressive seeing that they both are young for their division, just turning 11 early this year. Other Virgin Islands participants in the tournament were Luca Del Olmo of St. John and Zachary Armstrong and Nayan Bansal of St. Croix.
In July several players have been chosen to represent the Virgin Islands in various ITF (International Tennis Federation) tournaments. Chosen by overall ranking to go to El Salvador in the 16-year-old age category are Luca Del Olmo from St. John and Jordan Lawrence from St. Croix. For the 14-year-olds age category, Julian DePersio and Tomas Del Olmo were chosen. Chosen to represent the Virgin Islands in Puerto Rico for another ITF age 12 event were Russell Armstrong and Alec Kuipers from St. Croix.
“These young men have worked very hard all year to achieve what they have,” said St. Croix Coach Kevin Motta. Kevin coaches most of the players from St. Croix along with Greg James. Jordan Lawrence is coached by Kris Elien and Dinnard El-Amin.