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Sports Person of the Week
DelVecchio Makes Key Contributions as a Senior
Sophia DelVecchio played No. 2 doubles for North Haven as a senior and notched 10 victories alongside partner Kaitlyn Ha. DelVecchio and Ha were selected as co-recipients of North Haven’s Most Improved Award. (Photo courtesy of Sophia DelVeccio)
With a few years of experience as a volleyball player, Sophia DelVecchio decided to add another sport to her repertoire and join the North Haven girls’ tennis team as a sophomore. Sophia found that she enjoyed being on the court and went on to have a nice career at North Haven that culminated with her playing No. 2 doubles in her senior year.
At first, tennis was a hobby for Sophia and a way for her to stay close with her friends. Still, Sophia wanted to be prepared going into her first season with the team, so she started taking lessons at North Haven Health & Racquet. As her lessons went on, Sophia saw herself improving in the sport and enjoying it more.
“I was looking for something to keep me busy in my offseason. My friend had told me about it. She said really good things about it and said it was fun,” Sophia says. “I didn’t know anything about it or how to play. I started taking lessons. I realized I was good at it naturally. I liked the competitiveness of it and how different it was to volleyball.”
Sophia spent most of her sophomore season at the JV level, but did play in a few varsity matches at the end of the year, including competing at the No. 3 doubles position during the State Tournament. Sophia says that her teammates welcomed her with open arms when she joined the team, making her transition to tennis that much easier.
“It was really cool. The team was really welcoming,” says Sophia. “I was someone who had never played before. I didn’t expect them to be that nice and respectful. It made it really easy to want to get better and improve on the team.”
Sophia was unable to play alongside her North Haven teammates as a junior due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During that time, Sophia played a lot of tennis her father Bob and sister Bella. Sophia says that playing with them helped her get ready for senior year, noting that her father had a big hand in fostering her involvement with tennis.
“When I first mentioned the idea of playing tennis, my dad really encouraged me. He taught lessons for fun when he was in high school and college. He always enjoyed it and encouraged me to play,” Sophia says. “He told me that once you learn it, you can play it the rest of your life. I was interested in that.”
In her senior year, Sophia was elevated to a full-time varsity role and played No. 2 doubles with fellow senior Kaitlyn Ha. The duo recorded 10 wins on the year and shared North Haven’s Most Improved Award after helping the team advance to the Class L semifinals.
Sophia worked hard to make varsity and was excited when Head Coach Bob Migliorini told her that she would be joining forces with Ha on the doubles court.
“The first week, we had tryouts. I was really anxious. I was working hard, and I wanted to be in the starting lineup,” says Sophia. “When he announced our spots, I was excited to move up to varsity and excited to be doubles partners with one of my best friends.”
In addition to being her doubles partner, Ha was actually the one who convinced Sophia to play tennis for North Haven. Teaming up as seniors, Sophia says that her and Ha were always on the same page and that she enjoyed succeeding together.
“It was amazing to share the triumphs with her. We were always on the same page about strategies. We were always on the same level going into the match mentally,” Sophia says. “Just being able to share that with someone I’m so close with was awesome. It was cool to see us step up and work together.”
Coach Migliorini could see Sophia’s potential when she joined the squad as a sophomore. This year, Migliorini saw how much progress Sophia had made as she proved a key component to North Haven’s success.
“Sophia was a real pleasure to coach. She is probably one of the hardest workers on the team,” says Migliorini. “She takes it very seriously. Because of that, her game continued to improve throughout the season. Her volley and net skills vastly improved. She takes well to coaching and works hard in practice.”
In addition to playing tennis, Sophia was also a four-year member of the North Haven girls’ volleyball team at the defensive specialist position. While she enjoys the differences between the two sports, Sophia says that playing both of them has enhanced her all-around athleticism.
“The overall competitiveness is similar. There’s this kind of rush to make each point,” Sophia says. “Volleying in tennis reminded me of spiking. I never got to be a front row attacker in volleyball, but I can in tennis.”
Now that she’s graduated from high school, Sophia will attend Marist College in New York City to major in graphic design. She is hoping to play tennis at either the club or intramural level at Marist. Following a solid run with the North Haven girls’ tennis team, Sophia plans to keep playing the sport until someone takes the racquet out of her hand.
“I’m really grateful that I decided to try it out my sophomore year,” says Sophia. “Now I have a sport that I can play anytime I want. I’m grateful that I can continue to play forever.”