Ilagan, Fossorier named to USTA

Junior Leadership Team

May 1, 2017

Andre Ilagan and Alyssia Fossorier  have been named to the second USTA Junior Leadership Team, which recognizes the finest U.S. junior tennis players who exhibit leadership, sportsmanship and character on and off the court.


Ilagan and Fossorier are among 32 players nationwide named to the USTA Junior Leadership Team. Each player was nominated by his or her USTA section for excellence in tennis and in the community.

“These players truly are role models who exhibit character well beyond their years, both on the tennis court and in the community,” said Bill Mountford, the USTA’s Director of Junior Tournaments. “We’re happy to have a way to give them some of the recognition they truly deserve with the USTA Junior Leadership Team.”

Ilagan, 16, a resident of Kalihi, Hawaii, has been the No. 1-ranked player in his age group in the USTA Hawaii Pacific Section and has been ranked among the Top 100 16-and-under players nationally. ADVERTISEMENT He’s been an OIA state champion at Farrington High School and has won a number of other statewide junior titles, in addition to being an honor-roll student.  

Fossorier, from Honolulu, has been ranked the No. 1 18-and-under junior in Hawaii and among the Top 200 nationally in the USTA standings. She was the 2015 HHSA state doubles champion as a freshman and the singles runner-up as a sophomore in 2016. She was also the recipient of a USTA Multicultural Player Grant in 2015.

Each year, more than 120,000 players compete in USTA junior tournaments. Players compete in levels of competition through earned advancement in the 10s, 12s, 14s, 16s and 18s age divisions. USTA junior tournaments help kids take their game as far as they want – high school, college or pros – or just have fun competing.

In their own words...

Andre Ilagan: Tennis, in many ways, has taught me a lot in life. Not only with my academics, but my outlook on life has changed. This sport has taught me what dedication and a little sacrifice can do. When I was younger, I thought tennis was just another thing to do after school to keep me busy and off the street and out of trouble. Today, I have a new definition and attitude towards this sport. Tennis taught me discipline. In the past, I was used to getting things done my way and fast. Through competition, I am able to practice patience and consistency. I now understand that things take time to develop, and with practice, I will reach my goals. This also applies to my academics and personal life. I am a lot more focused and determined, and that is because of tennis.

Sportsmanship is extremely important on and off the court. It speaks through your actions and attitude. In sport, there is always a winner and loser. We win some, and we lose some. Our attitude towards this is important. This attitude was tested when I played the state finals. Everything was going great, and I could almost see the finish line. However, the previous hot days of long matches slowly crept up to me, and I could feel my body slowing down, and finally, I lost. The thing with this sport is that things can change in a second. I was frustrated and disappointed, but I decided to work harder and smarter for the next time. We don’t always have good days. On some days, it will not go as great. However, understanding and learning from our mistakes and experience is what makes a great champion, in my opinion, and I strive to be the best champion I can be.

Tennis is the sport for me, not only because of the physical and health benefits but also because of what it teaches me every day. The fact that this is an individual sport, I am able to focus on me and work on making myself better on and off court. It is also through this sport that I’ve met some of my good friends. The long wait for a match allowed me to bond and develop great friendships from all over the world. I also enjoy the traveling. I have gone to some awesome places, and it would not have been possible if it were not for this sport.

Alyssia Fossorier: Tennis, to me, is what I identify myself as. In life, we have the power to choose what we want to be, such as a basketball player, dancer, etc., and, for me, I chose to be a tennis player. Identifying myself as a tennis player showed people that I was serious about tennis and that success in tennis was something I really strived for. All the hard work and sacrifice I put into tennis shaped me into the person I am today.

The most valuable asset I gained from tennis was confidence. Before I started playing tennis, I was extremely shy. I always had trouble speaking in class and asking questions. As I started playing tennis, that all changed. The tennis court felt like a second home. The court was a place of comfort and allowed me to be myself. On the court, I was this intense fireball bursting with energy, and nothing was going to stop me from expressing myself.

The competition in tennis also taught me many important values; however, I would say that the most important value I learned was diligence. Competitions taught me to be a diligent athlete because competitions showed me what I needed to do to improve. When I was younger, I used to lose a lot, but I would learn from my losses and work to improve my game. I knew that the mistakes I made would teach me how to be a better player and that if I worked hard and focused hard, I would improve. The competition in tennis taught me to be diligent, and that diligence also carried over into my academic life and made me a studious student, too.

In tennis, I really value sportsmanship. Without sportsmanship in tennis, players would not be able to trust each other. In tennis, we rely on our opponents to make fair calls and play with integrity. I value sportsmanship because it teaches a player to be respectful, honest and humble. If a person has great sportsmanship, they are respected by other people because, no matter how intense a match is, they never stoop low and resort to cheating. A person of sportsmanship works hard and only wins by using their game and not undermining tricks. I also believe that a person of sportsmanship is also very humble and is not arrogant about their winnings. These values of sportsmanship are the perceptions of a tennis player I strive to be every day.


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