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Victor Tennis Player Overcomes Stroke

Alyssa Partington finds her own way to play like everyone else (and sometimes better)
Alyssa Partington looks like every other Victor JV tennis player, but every other player did not have a life that started like hers.

"Alyssa suffered a brain injury from a stroke at birth," says her father, Keith Partington. "That created some challenges for her growing up."

The physical effects can be seen, but only if you know to look for them. "The left side is much weaker than her dominant right side," explains her coach, Steve Cronmiller.

Alyssa often has to invent her own way to do everyday chores. In tennis, one of the toughest simple tasks for her to master was learning how to serve.

"She wanted to try out for tennis her freshman year," Keith Partington says. "We kept her out that additional year and found a coach up in the city (Curtis Carter) who worked with her on creating an adaptive serve. Once she got that adaptive serve down, we knew she was ready to go."

By her sophomore year, Alyssa got the green light to play on the JV team. "It felt really good," Alyssa says. "I could be part of a team."

Alyssa isn't just "on" the team. She can play. She's part of the number one doubles team and they started the year undefeated through six matches.

"There have been a few times where it was game point and it was deuce and she just came back with an amazing volley from the net that won us the game," says her doubles partner, Nicole Purdy. "She's such a good tennis player... as good as any of us. (The effect of the stroke) doesn't even show at all."

"Alyssa is inspiring to the program from the modified to the varsity level," says Cronmiller. "The girls love her. They treat her as a peer."

Alyssa plans on playing for the varsity team next year. She plans on going to college. There's no magic to what she's accomplished.

"You have to take time to get better at it and then you'll be able to make the team," Alyssa says.

Just like every other player.


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