Jackie Lopez of Golden Valley tennis earns athlete of the week for South Yosemite League singles win

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. -  

Maybe it was improved technique. Maybe it was that first year of upper classman confidence. Whatever the case, after coming third as a freshman and second as a sophomore, Jackie Lopez of Golden Valley tennis finally did it. She snagged first place and a South Yosemite League championship.

“She told me early on this was important to her,” coach John Alvarez told 23ABC on Wednesday, “this was her goal. She's worked two years plus this season to get to this. Was always a competitor but this year I could see the drive and hunger behind her game.”

“I felt a weight lifted off my shoulders,” Lopez explained, “I mean I wanted to win but I still felt pressured to win as well and to finally do it was just a relief and it felt so rewarding.”

The expectations of being number one still exist. Jackie says the difference this year was mom and dad.

“My parents, whenever I talk about it like I'm nervous, as long as I'm doing my best and not holding back mentally then we're going to be proud of you and the wins will come with it.”

“I think it was believing in herself ,” coach Alvarez explained, “and having the heart and knowing she could do it.”

For her title winning performance in the SYL championships and finally catching a goal she had chased for three years, Jackie Lopez earns a plaque provided by Kern Trophies and is our female athlete of the week.

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