Two-time state tennis champion Ellie Esterowitz has been playing tennis since she was six years old, working hard to get better every day since she started. She commits herself to the game and is loved by all her peers and teammates.
This year her playoff journey started at counties. She said, “It felt really good to win counties especially because I lost in the finals last year.”
Esterowitz’s life revolves around tennis as she is always working to become a better player. “Ellie has a tremendous work ethic. When she undertakes a task she is methodical and relentless in her pursuit of excellence. I have seen this on and off the court,” varsity tennis coach Nia Cresham said.
Esterowitz works hard at school and has learned good time management skills from trying to balance the amount of school work she has with the amount of tennis she plays. “Ellie is a perfect example for Wootton tennis as she sets a great example on the court with her county and state titles as well as off it because she is very hardworking and smart,” sophomore Ryan Meyer said.
There are always superstitious athletes with a set routine before each game, but Esterowitz is not like this. “I don’t have any pre game rituals. I make sure I’m warmed up and ready for the match,” Esterowitz said.
The mental game of sports and ability to take criticism drives an athlete to their greatest success and their biggest failures. Esterowitz’s mental game has been noted. “Ellie takes criticism and suggestions very well. She listens and she learns. Ellie is also perceptive about her opponents’ strengths and weaknesses, as well as her own,” Cresham said.
After counties came regionals, where Esterowitz and her brother, freshman Jakob Esterowitz, made it to the finals, qualifying for states. This was special for Esterowitz because in regionals she played doubles with her brother. She usually plays singles for the regular season. “Ellie excels at the mental focus required for singles play and at the cooperative and flexible play needed in doubles,” Cresham said.
The tennis season this year was different because the girls’ season was moved to the spring from fall, forcing Cresham to coach only one of the tennis teams. This season she coached boys and next season she will coach girls. Tennis instructor Mateo Cevallos took the position to coach girls. “It’s definitely different not having Cresh coaching us, but I’ve known our new coach, Mateo, for a long time because he coached my old team so that was really fun,” Esterowitz said.
Overall, Esterowitz is a well-rounded student. “I have watched her at some of her tennis matches and she is so good at what she does, especially when she sets her mind to it. I know winning all four years of states is achievable for her,” sophomore Mikey Fellman said.