Orange Lutheran senior Julia Fierro was introduced to tennis as a second grader through some local youth camps, but it wasn’t until middle school that she landed on it as her sport of choice.
“I played a lot of sports growing up and tried to figure out what I wanted,” says Fierro. “But come sixth grade, I realized I needed to settle into one if I wanted to be sure to make a high school team. So I stuck with tennis and played consistently.”
As a doubles player for the Lancers, Fierro enjoys the balance tennis provides between both the individual effort and the supportive team environment.
“I love that it’s very much a personal sport, but it’s also such a team sport,” says the 17-year old. “We lift each other up so much, and I love that about tennis.”
The four-year varsity player and her teammates are right in the thick of Trinity League matches and are currently ranked 7th in CIF-SS Division 2. As a senior leader, Fierro is focused this season on positivity both on and off the court and building team connections through encouragement.
“Julia is an awesome young lady that I have had the privilege of coaching these last four years,” says OLu girls tennis assistant coach, Lindsey Motis. “She is reliable, always on time and works hard to improve her game. This year, she has really stepped up and done a fantastic job with building team camaraderie, as well as being a leader out on the courts.”
Challenges with the mental side of the sport are ever present for Fierro, but remaining positive and working to be the best version of herself while supporting her team has allowed her to see improvement in her game.
“Tennis has taught me a lot about how to work for myself and work for a team and for a greater good,” says Fierro, “but also how to be positive and keep myself in a good mindset and a good headspace.”
Off the court, Fierro is actively involved on campus as both an Ignite Team Leader and a Missions Officer. As a four-year participant in OLu Missions, she is using her position in Publicity to help foster the love she has for the program in other Lancers.
“I knew with Missions I’d be able to connect right away and make friends faster, before school even started,” says Fierro. “And I also knew it’s a great way for me to connect with God and grow my faith deeper. It’s been a great experience for me being in the class.”
With graduation approaching next spring, Fierro is open to playing tennis at the collegiate level if the opportunity presents itself. She would like to study business, and is grateful to her parents and her older brother, OLu alumnus Jack ’19, for their consistent support.
“They’ve always been very encouraging for me and always been there for me,” says Fierro. “And I think that’s helped me get through a lot of things in my life.”
One thing Fierro will miss about her time as a Lancer is the blessing of being able to play her sport for a school that provides such a supportive environment. Before each match, she and her teammates are able to thank God for the gifts and abilities they have been given.
“It’s really cool to play for a place where we can [pray] and openly worship God,” says Fierro. “I enjoy who I play with and knowing that we play for a greater purpose – we play for God’s glory. It’s such a good community, and I’m so proud to represent my school. I’ll miss it. It’s something I’ve never felt before playing elsewhere.”
Learn more about Julia by watching her in "The Walk".