December 01, 2021
Teen Tennis Phenom Is USTA National Girls’ 16 Indoor Singles Champ
Erin Ha, a teen tennis phenomenon from Tenafly, recently won the USTA National Girls’ 16 Indoor Singles Championship. Ha recently transferred to the Academy of the Holy Angels, where she is a junior.
“I started playing tennis at around seven years of age, but never really got into lessons or tournaments until the age of 10,” Ha said of her sport of choice. “My dad was the one who played the sport in high school and wanted me to start it to become his ‘hitting partner.’”
Ha shared that she particularly likes the idea that many people can play tennis, since skill and success are not linked to a player’s age, size, or height.
“Tennis has really helped connect me with people from all around the world,” Ha added. “I recently reconnected and made a couple more friends from California as well as one from Europe.”
How does Ha prepare for a match or tournament?
While she agrees that practice is essential, she takes a more holistic approach.
“I personally make sure to eat the proper foods and keep hydrated throughout all hours of the day to prepare for tough matches that could last over three hours. Stretching before and after a match is also a key component to making sure no physical injuries are created,” she explained.
This fall, Ha and fellow AHA tennis star Brooke Hess individually played their way to the State Singles Semifinals, and found themselves facing each other for the right to move on to the Finals. Ha won the match, and finished the finals as state runner-up.
“One recognition that has stuck with me throughout was my USTA Sportsmanship Award in the 12 and under age group,” she said of her achievements. ”I was just one girl out of many to be elected as a candidate and eventually a winner by tournament directors, players, or even referees. I feel that the idea of having good sportsmanship has really shaped me as a person and player and being recognized for it was a dream.”
Recently, Ha received a silver ball in doubles. Although she and her partner finished second, Ha said she believes their personal connection as friends helped them persevere and play through their injuries.
When she is not playing or practicing, Ha volunteers as a referee in unrated tennis matches to help promote junior tennis.
Ha said she decided to come to Holy Angels for the academics and because of the Academy’s willingness to communicate and work with her tennis schedule.
“I also had a couple of friends I have known since elementary school who really loved the school and could only say the best about it. From the very moment I entered the building and met my fellow classmates, peers, and teachers, I realized how united the community was and couldn’t wait to be a part of it.”
Ha also appreciates her family’s support.
“I believe it is important to note how much time and effort my parents have gone through to pay for my lessons and deal with my many personalities as well as travel and drive me anywhere I need to go. From all this effort I hope to be able to make them proud and commit to an amazing college, hopefully by early or middle of next year!”
Founded by the School Sisters of Notre Dame in 1879, the Academy of the Holy Angels is the oldest private girls’ school in Bergen County. While AHA is steeped in Catholic tradition, this prestigious school serves young women from a broad spectrum of cultural and religious backgrounds. Over time, thousands of women have passed through AHA’s portals. Many go on to study at some of the nation’s best universities, earning high-ranking positions in medicine, government, law, education, public service, business, arts, and athletics. The Academy’s current leaders continue to further the SSND mission to provide each student with the tools she needs to reach the fullness of her potential—spiritually, intellectually, socially, and physically, by offering a first-rate education in a nurturing environment where equal importance is placed on academic excellence, character development, moral integrity, and service to others.