IN THE EARLY STAGES OF HER CAREER, ALYSSA DAVILA DEALT WITH A LOT OF REJECTION.
It came from college tennis coaches saying she needed more experience or that she didn’t have what they were looking for. They even told her to look at a different avenues to play tennis.
“I remember a specific coach telling me to look at alternative choices such as playing outside of college, in separate leagues, etc. instead of pursuing a college tennis career,” Davila said.
The MacArthur senior overcame all of the naysayers and will be attending University of St. Thomas in Houston next year as a part of its inaugural tennis team.
“She is the truest definition of what hard work, determination, excellence and passion for tennis can lead to,” MacArthur tennis coach Brandon Blake said. “I know Alyssa will continue to thrive at the college level and she has set an example for the rest of MacArthur’s tennis team that they too can play at the next level.”
Since the University of St. Thomas is a Division III school, it doesn’t offer athletic scholarships. However, Davila maintaining a Top 10-percent ranking in her graduating class has afforded her numerous academic scholarships.
Accomplishing all of this hasn’t come without hard work, Davila said, which is how she was raised.
“A strong work ethic is actually ingrained in my blood with my grandparents on my father’s side being immigrants from Mexico, who came to America to find a better life,” Davila said. “And with my grandparents on my mother’s side being migrant workers, who worked picking crops in fields. I recognize that my family has worked too hard for me to slack and not make something out of myself.”
According to Davila’s USTA profile, entering March she had a 39-33 record in USTA play. Included in that was a win at the BCS New Year Champ Major Zone 2019 (G18s) with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Blair Drought-Villarreal in January.
The foundation of her tennis career though has been built at MacArthur, where she’s helped change the outside perception of the program.
“Coming from Aldine ISD, when we went to tournaments our district wasn’t seen as competitive contenders. I feel like I was a part of a team that broke these stereotypes and changed the culture,” Davila said. “We earned our respect even if we weren’t state champions or our players weren’t all USTA-ranked. We have won first place in our district the last three years and I am so glad to have been a part of this team as it continues to grow and build its reputation.”
Sitting back and watching Davila’s career blossom into what it has, Blake said as a freshman he saw Davila take a loss in a team tennis match at Conroe High School.
Since then, she was never the same player.
“She worked tirelessly, practiced continually after school, went to tennis camps and joined the USTA to eventually become a champ,” Blake said.
A player that Davila looks up to in the tennis world is Serna Williams.
It is not only because of her skill on the court, but Davila said her character and socially conscious behavior has also served her as a motivating factor on how to come back and positively affect the community she has grown up in.
“I intend to not only be a great tennis player, but shatter stereotypes at the same time and empower women and minorities in sports in a social aspect. I intend to build off of what Serena and Venus Williams have done,” Davila said. “I intend to come back to my community and build my school’s tennis program so that our players can play college tennis and change the future of Aldine ISD tennis.”