By JENELYN RUSSO     11/14/2015

When Brytanya Le began playing tennis at age 5, she admits she didn’t take the game too seriously. But playing for fun eventually turned into playing with passion once Le reached Cornelia Connelly School, and her time on the court for the Koalas has been a journey in developing self-confidence.

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“I think [tennis has] taught me to believe in myself, to be confident,” says Le. “All throughout life, I’ve underestimated myself. I think tennis has shown me that believing in myself is the best thing to do, because if you doubt yourself, you’re stopping yourself from doing what you could do.”

As a four-year varsity starter, Le began her freshman year playing singles, but switched to doubles, a change that isn’t easy for many players to make. The 17-year-old senior has found that she enjoys the challenge and the teamwork required of playing doubles tennis.

“It teaches you how to have fun and also to work together,” says Le. “It’s not just always about you… It’s about the team, too.”

Connelly’s head tennis coach Jason Manley believes that being able to play where needed is one of Le’s strengths, both as a player and a leader.

“Brytanya’s willingness to adapt and fill any role we need is a great asset to our team,” says Manley.

Le feels that her biggest challenges on the court have come from herself rather than her opponents, but her faith has helped her turn her fears into determination.

“The thing that was stopping me the most was myself,” says Le. “I ask [God] to help me believe in myself and do the best that I can. He’s someone I can turn to. Over the years, I’ve learned to believe in myself and…I gave it my all this year.”

Off the court, the Huntington Beach resident enjoys singing in the choir at Connelly as well as volunteering with children in the community. After high school, Le hopes to continue to play tennis recreationally and would like to study English and writing in college.

Le credits tennis for a large amount of her own personal growth over her high school career and knows that the lessons learned will take her far beyond the sport.

“Sports isn’t always about being the number-one person on the team,” says Le. “Play the best that you can…[It’s] not just for awards. Having others to support you through your hard times…is always good, too.”

Le’s parents have come alongside their daughter to help champion her as she’s grown through the game.

“They’ve always been there for me, in the good and the bad times,” says Le. “They’ve always helped me to understand that life isn’t just about winning everything. It’s more of what you got out of it, too.”