New England Native Harvey Wins Orange Bowl
James Maimonis, Communications and Engagement Coordinator | December 13, 2017
PLANTATION, FL- About an hour and a half south of her new hometown of Port St. Lucie, FL, 16-year-old Braintree, MA native Kacie Harvey picked up arguably the biggest victory of her young career. From December 4-10, Harvey, along with the best International Tennis Federation (ITF) junior players in the world, competed in the 18s and 16s Orange Bowl at the Frank Veltri Tennis Center in Plantation, FL. Harvey won the 16s Doubles Championship with partner Kylie Collins (Savannah, GA).
“It felt great and I’m super happy. It had been a long week, but to end the year winning this tournament and to hold up the bowl was amazing,” said Harvey, who was making her third straight appearance in the 16s tournament.
Harvey moved to Florida in the summer of 2016 to accelerate her tennis career. She currently trains at Club Med and competes around the world as part of the ITF junior circuit.
Her recent successes include winning a Grade 2 doubles tournament in South America and reaching the finals of another leading up to the Eddie Herr Tournament. Harvey qualified for the 18s division of the historic Eddie Herr, but fell to the No. 5 overall seed, Naho Sato, of Japan, in the first round.
In the Orange Bowl, Harvey played both singles and doubles. Singles was her primary focus in the months prior, but things changed the moment she received a text from Kylie Collins.
“I’ve seen (Collins) at tournaments and we’ve tried to play before, but it never worked out,” Harvey said. “I wasn’t really thinking about doubles at the time, but she texted me for this tournament and I didn’t have a partner. I knew she would be a great partner, so I said yes.”
Both Harvey and Collins fell on day 2 in the 16s singles draw, which allowed them to turn their attention solely to doubles. The duo earned a first-round bye as the No. 2 seed, and cruised 6-3, 6-1 in the second round.
The eventual champs were tested in both their quarterfinal and semifinal matchups, as they faced third-set tiebreak scenarios in both. Rather than let the nerves get the best of them, the confident Harvey and Collins thrived in the high-pressure situations.
“You have to give it everything you have in the tiebreaks, and we always felt confident in those situations. Lots of people get nervous, but Kylie and I were just going for it together, and that really helped a lot,” Harvey said.
Harvey and Collins continued their confident play through the finals. They defeated Maria-Cecilia Aguiar (Puerto Rico) and Briana Crowley (Battle Ground, IN), 6-3, 6-1, a team who upset the No. 1 seeds in the quarterfinals.
“We definitely played our best tennis in the finals,” Harvey said. “We both trusted each other and could count on each other in the big moments. Kylie has good serve and is good on the back, so she would set me up for poaches, and we played it from there.”
We had some tough matches, but as long as we stayed focused and stepped up our games, I knew we would be able to pull through.”
Harvey plans on competing in the 18s Orange Bowl next year, and says this victory definitely gave her confidence moving forward and is “another nice stepping stone in my development.”
Another former New England junior, Margaryta Bilokin, reached the finals of the 18s singles draw, falling to top overall seed, Whitney Osuigwe. The 16-year-old now competes under the flag of Ukraine.