Alex Loope leads Oaks to VISAA tournament 

Collegiate's May Athlete of the Month

Alex Loope is a skilled tennis player who most recently helped to lead our varsity tennis team to the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association (VISAA) state tournament where the team earned first-runner up. Alex’s love for the game blossomed when he was 14 years old and he continues to perfect his craft. With high hopes and ambition, he sat down with the Oak Connection to talk about the season before the state tournament and what he has learned throughout his young tennis career.

What is it like to be named the Athlete of the Month?

It feels great to be Athlete of the Month, especially at a time when many of our other sports teams have been doing so well and there are many other athletes equally deserving. It is a real honor to be recognized.

How did you become involved in tennis?

I got involved in tennis when I was about nine years old. My dad plays tennis, so I would always go and hit with him at Greenbrier Country Club in Chesapeake. I was a baseball player back then, so the transition to tennis was pretty easy. I played both sports for a while but realized that I had a better chance to be successful with tennis. I became more serious with it and started training and playing tournaments when I was around 11 and have not stopped since.

What were your goals for the season? Did the team meet them? If so, explain. If not, what are your hopes for next year?

Our goal is to win the state championship, so we are still working on that. We just won our quarterfinals match and have to play the semis and finals, in both of which we have a very good chance. We came in third in TCIS, and Alex Duvall’s TCIS victory has really made our team realize what we are capable of and motivated us to work even harder day in and day out.

What lessons have you learned throughout prior years that have impacted you in your tennis career?

When I was about 14 or so, I was really struggling with tennis. I wasn’t enjoying it very much and wasn’t achieving what I wanted to. I talked a lot with my coach and just started focusing more on having fun and not worrying about outcomes, just playing my best tennis and enjoying the game. At the end of the day we always have to remember that sports are something we do for fun.

What’s your most memorable sports moment while here at Collegiate?

My most memorable sports moment at Norfolk Collegiate was my sophomore year when we played Norfolk Academy. I was the last match on at the No. 1 position playing against their star player Dillon Jacob. That was the largest crowd I have ever played in front of, and the feeling that I got when I won that match was priceless. The team stormed the court and everyone was yelling and screaming. I remember we went to La Herradura after. That’s a day that I will remember for the rest of my life.

What do you like to do outside of playing tennis?

I am a really big basketball fan, so I love playing and watching basketball whenever I get the opportunity, I just wish I was a little better at it. I also have a real passion for foreign languages such as Spanish, French and Russian.

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