SportLight: Izzy Richardson

Chris Rosario

Mesa tennis star Izzy Richardson. Izzy is ranked amoung the top 5 tennis players in California.

Ashton O'Halloran

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Izzy Richardson is new to Mesa’s women’s tennis team this year, but with 14 years experience behind her she is no stranger to the sport. Born and raised in California the 20-year-old now lives in La Jolla with her parents who frequent her matches.

The passion that comes with playing any sport for 14 years is undeniable. Richardson has spent more than three quarters of her life on a tennis court.

She is extremely confident that her time and commitment is worth it and it’s her love for the game that keeps her focused and enthusiastic.

“I feel like I do really well in tennis,” said Richardson. “People might not think I am that determined, and it does get stressful sometimes, but I am very hard on myself to do well.”

Tennis also gives her an outlet-she loves relieving her stress on the court.

Mesa was not Richardson’s first stop after high school. She enrolled at the University of Arizona for her freshmen year. Shorty after arriving she realized she had made a mistake.

“The tennis team was not taking walk-ons, I had a bad roommate and bad friends, it was just not a good fit,” said Richardson.

After a year off, Richardson returned to tennis at Mesa. She missed the physical and emotional challenges presented by her coaches, parents and fellow teammates.

“[I like them] saying I’m good, but also telling me I can do better,” Richardson said.

Now at Mesa, Richardson is technically a freshman on the team, this being her first season, but she recognizes her responsibilities to be a leader and feels there is more of an even keel among the players.

“Most people on the team are relatively new, but our collective skill is high,” she said.

Originally a singles player Richardson has now started to play doubles more often.

“Sometimes it gets hard to rely on other players, but in the end it’s better when you have someone to celebrate your win with,” Richardson said.

The team goal is to be the Pacific Coast Conference champions and to do well at the Ojai tournament at the end of the year in Ventura. Richardson wants to win all her matches and also hopes for the team to do well at Ojai.

After Mesa Richardson wants to transfer to a four-year university and continue playing tennis.

“Going pro has always been a dream of mine, ever since I was little. We will just have to see how it goes from here,” she said.

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