By Michael Gladysz, special to USTA.com
Forget about individual accomplishments. NCAA Division I standout Julia Casselbury wants to win for the team.
Casselbury started playing at age 8 where she grew up in Lititz, Pa., excelling in junior competition and eventually securing a spot on the women’s varsity team at Boston College. To get ready for the rigors of team play in what can sometimes be an individual sport, she signed up to play with a 5.0 Adult level USTA League tennis team in her USTA Middle States section.
It turned out to be an inspired decision.
"My favorite thing about tennis right now is the team aspect," said Casselbury. "As a junior player, traveling around becomes so individual – whatever you do on the court only matters for your personal record. Lately, it’s been so much fun for me to be with a team and be a part of something bigger.
Casselbury certainly has had her fair share of success in her brief career. She was just the fourth girl in Pennsylvania history to win three Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association state tennis titles, making her one of the best young players in Middle States – and nationally – over the past several years.
The 19-year-old got started in USTA League with an assist from her aunt, who also plays on the team, and said the level of competition was just what she needed as she embarked on her freshman season at B.C.
"I loved playing [USTA League] because it was so intense," she said. "It truly was some great tennis. In doubles, I couldn’t believe how competitive the matches got. It’s not something a lot of people would expect."
Now, she uses USTA League to prepare her for collegiate competition, which in turn makes her a better USTA League player. It’s a lot of tennis for one person, but Casselbury said she still can’t get enough—now, or in the future.
"It was so much fun," she said of playing USTA League. "It’s definitely something I want to do down the road. I think I’ll enjoy being a part of league tennis after college for a long time."