The Easter Bowl National Tennis Championship, a tournament featuring junior tennis standouts, showcased Heritage’s varsity girls tennis player, eighth grader Natalie Block, who put on a dominant performance in the 14 and under age division. Over the years, the tournament has hosted many prominent tennis players before they broke out into stardom, such as John Isner, Ryan Harrison, Christina McHale, Sloane Stephens, and many more.
Prior to the tournament, Block made sure to spend time working on her craft in hopes of finishing at the top when the Easter Bowl arrived. However, her training techniques differed from her usual preparation for a regular match.
Her normal tennis training stays on track with the following schedule: Mondays and Wednesdays are dedicated to practicing from 4:00-6:30 in the late afternoon as well as honing in on levels of fitness, strength and conditioning from 7:00-8:30 at night; Tuesdays and Thursdays consist of playing tennis from 3:30-7; Fridays also feature fitness training, but include either a practice match or a light practice. Block decided to alter her practice routine by slightly reducing her work load ahead of the Easter Bowl, which began March 23 and concluded March 31.
“Preparing for Easter Bowl, I train pretty lightly,” Block said. “I try to focus on getting a rhythm and tuning up my shots so I can go into the tournament as confident as possible.”
Though Block ultimately fell short of securing the title, she displayed a dominant run over the course of the tournament. She reached the Quarterfinals in the singles draw and finished as a finalist in the doubles draw.
“Obviously, I went into the tournament wanting to win it,” Block said, “but it still felt good to make it so far in the tournament even if it wasn’t the result I was aiming for.”
Regardless, Block doesn’t plan to let the loss deter her from accomplishing one of her goals for the future; reaching the professional level.
“In the future, I definitely want to play Division 1 tennis for a strong, all-around school,” Block said. “After college, I would love to play a couple professional tournaments and see where it goes from there.”