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Recruiting Profile
Surrounded by Tennis, Jones Blossoms

Tennis takes hold early in Midland, the longtime home of February's $100,000 Dow Corning Tennis Classic, a premier event on the ITF Women's Pro Circuit. Known for its community outreach and the local schoolchildren who arrive by the busload for early round matches, the tournament has been an integral part of the small Michigan city's sports scene for nearly three decades.

Top ten national sophomore Alyvia Jones
© Zoo Tennis
Fifteen-year-old Alyvia Jones, a blue chip recruit who lives in Midland, took up the sport at age 3, and soon had graduated to lessons at the Greater Midland Tennis Center, a 39-court facility that serves as the site of the tournament.

"We had a court in our basement, a little court and we'd hit there," says Jones, who was introduced to the sport by her father. "Then I started coming here [the Greater Midland Tennis Center] a little bit and it just kind of progressed. I was really shy when I was a little kid - I still am - so my dad wanted me to start coming here. I don't know why he put me in tennis. But I liked being by myself."

As Jones' skills grew, sectional and national success followed. She won a bronze ball and a silver ball in doubles at the 12s Clay Court and Hard Court Nationals with Elysia Bolton in 2012, ending the year No. 17 in the USTA National Rankings. Moving up to the 14s proved no problem, with Jones finishing No. 25 in 2013, and in 2014 she finished No. 17 in the 16s division.

Last year, Jones qualified for a $10,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in Hilton Head, while playing in the 18s division sectionally and nationally. She also had an opportunity to compete against the professionals she had watched over the years in Midland, receiving a wild card into the doubles main draw at the Dow Corning with friend Sara Daavettila, who also lives in central Michigan. The two teens acquitted themselves well, falling to eventual finalists Sachia Vickery and Jacqueline Cako 7-6(3), 6-3.

Jones, who also played in the Dow Corning Tennis Classic earlier this month, losing in the first round of qualifying and the first round of doubles, has used her exposure to the top level of the sport to assess what she needs to improve.

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Page updated on Monday, March 09, 2020
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