Marshall’s Heinitz Making an Early Impact
7th Grade Tennis Player Dominating #1 Singles for Hilltoppers
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The top roles on high school tennis teams are often filled by upperclassmen. Not at Duluth’s Marshall School, where 7th grader Nore Heinitz has been dominant at number one singles.
“It happens,” said her coach Phil Laiti, who has been working with Nore since she was nine. “It doesn’t happen a lot, but the kids with the most talent, best mind, and hardest work ethic. It’s not just one thing that makes them be number one in 7th grade.”
Meanwhile, now 12 year old Nore says she couldn’t imagine working with anyone else.
“He knows a lot about the game,” said Heinitz. “When he tells me something, sometimes I get mad, but I know he’s just trying to help. He’s probably the most important person to me in tennis.”
Teammates like senior Azalea Ginete are amazed by nore’s success.
“It’s really amazing how much time she dedicates to the sport,” said Ginete, who is unbeaten at number two singles. “It’s just great to watch her because you learn so much from watching someone that good.”
Standing just 5’1″, Nore may not be physically imposing, however, she’s got the mental make–up to compete against girls five to six years older and more physically mature.
“They’re bigger than me, but I have just as much skill as them, even more sometimes,” said Heinitz. “That helps it not be as overwhelming.”
“Nore’s probably going to be a little later to mature, but you want to build a lot of skills now,” added Laiti.
And Nore’s skills are certainly developing.
“Short game, the approach shots, overheads, it’s all coming around,” said Laiti. “It’s growing at a nice pace; you just have to wait a little bit. When she grows and matures in to it, then you’ll have the complete game there.”
As for the future, Nore has big goals.
“My dream would be to play on the pro tour,” sahe says. “But I have to focus on playing college tennis first.”
“Her goal is to be able to pick whatever college she wants to play at,” said Laiti. “If she keeps going like she does, she’ll not just play somewhere, she’ll play where she wants to play.”
But in the meantime, Nore has five more years to play for Marshall, and five more years to hone her game.