Middle States

A New Home Away From Home

A brand new city. No friends. No connections. Seems a bit intimidating, right?

For Avery McCall, that was reality in 2019.

When Americorps stationed McCall in St. Louis, she realized there would be some challenges. Thankfully, that’s where tennis came to the rescue.

A former active junior player in the Eastern Pennsylvania District (EPD), Avery played team tennis and participated in USTA Tournaments before competing at Marywood University. She graduated in 2017, and was stationed in St. Louis in 2019.

“Moving halfway across the country without knowing anyone is scary but exciting at the same time,” Avery said. “It’s a fresh start and you can make so many incredible friendships with people you would have never crossed paths with otherwise.”


Her mom, Marie, made sure tennis was a part of that.


As Marie was getting ready to help move her daughter to another state, she wanted to do something to connect Avery to some people in her new home. So she contacted her local USTA League Tennis coordinator.


“I reached out to Sue Pettit who found us a connection in St. Louis,” Marie said. “Avery was rostered on a team in Missouri before we even left Pennsylvania.”

“My mom stayed in St. Louis and got me situated,” Avery said. “She even came to my first practice with my new team.”


The next day, Avery played in her first match. Her new teammates quickly became much more than that.

“I got really close with my team captain, Juanita Davis,” Avery said. “She made me feel welcome on the team from day one. I didn’t bring a car with me to St. Louis, but the team all took turns driving me. I even spent Thanksgiving with Juanita and her family.”


“I’m so thankful to USTA for shrinking the country for us,” Marie said. “Avery’s new team welcomed both of us with open arms. As a mom, I’m so thankful for tennis and how it provided an instant group of friends for my daughter.”

While USTA League Tennis is currently not in play, we're using this time to recognize the great players and captains who make the program strong. With more than 300,000 players taking part each year, USTA League is the country’s largest adult competitive tennis league. It’s a great way to stay active, improve your tennis game and have the chance to compete for a National Championship. If you love tennis, you’ll love USTA League and being part of a team.


Even though league play is currently suspended, we are excited for everyone to get back on the court as soon as tennis is appropriate to be played again. You can learn more about league play here

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