Junior players from the Sunshine State traditionally don’t fare well during the annual USTA National Indoor Championships, but Doral’s Valeria Ray turned that statistic around last weekend on the fast indoor courts at the Twos Athletic Club in Toledo, Ohio.
The teen reached the final as the No. 9 seed at the USTA Girls’ 14s National Indoor Championships before finally seeing her run halted by top-seeded Maya Joint of Grosse Pointe, Mich., 6-4, 6-2.
It has been a breakout year for Ray who earlier this spring was one match away from reaching the Florida high school tennis overall final, falling to eventual overall champion Imani Graham 4-6, 6-2, 10-3. In the team competition, her Doral Academy won a second straight Class 3A title.
In July Ray competed in the girls’ 14s at the USTA National Clay Court Championships in Plantation, Fla., with partner Madison Smith (Delray Beach) reaching the doubles final before falling to Alexis Blokhina (Plantation, Fla.) and partner Natalia Perez (Guaynabo, P.R.).
The freshman is a five-star blue-chip-rated player on the Tennis Recruiting Network at No. 2 in Florida and No. 10 in the national standings in her age division.
Each year more than 120,000 players compete in USTA junior tournaments. Players compete in levels of competition through earned advancement in the 10s, 12s, 14s, 16s and 18s age divisions. USTA junior tournaments help kids take their game as far as they want — high school, college or pros — or just have fun competing.
To view the full division results go to www.usta.com/news.