Vy Nguyen was set for her second season of tennis at Pueblo West High School.


The sophomore began playing last year, but said she’s quickly fallen in love with the sport.


But then, two weeks ago, CHSAA announced the postponement of spring sports due to the growing concerns of the COVID-19 pandemic.


The announcement was what Nguyen called “devastating.”


“I mean, we had this hard work of almost two weeks practicing just to be washed,” she said. “I felt almost broken. I wouldn’t even be surprised if the season was canceled at this point.”


Nguyen said she understands why CHSAA decided to postpone the season.


The student athlete said that tennis was her way of decompressing from the rigors and stresses of balancing school.


“Being able to channel all the stress of school and relieve it on the courts is comforting,” she said. “It was one part of my life, I guess, where mistakes weren’t so critical except for those important matches.”


Nguyen had hoped to improve on the court from last season. Before practice was postponed, she said she’d been working on a harder, more accurate serve.


She even stayed late at practice just to work on her hitting, often practicing until the sun was setting around 6:30 p.m.


Nguyen was so dedicated to her newfound love that she would spend her free time in class watching tennis videos to learn techniques.


“I wanted to improve overall as a player,” she said. “My main goal and hope was to be in the top-5 junior varsity doubles at the end of the season.


But I guess that goal is interrupted, for now.”


Nguyen began playing tennis because her mother had wanted to play in high school but wasn’t able to. Many of Nguyen’s friends suggested playing, and the game stuck for the young player.


With the season postponed, Nguyen said she will miss spending time with many of those friends who got her into tennis in the first place.


“I’ll probably miss the matches and team bonding the most,” Nguyen said. “Every time I think about last year, I always remember the good plays I had or the funny memories with my team. I will miss my coaches and teammates dearly.


They were a major factor in me falling in love with tennis.”


In the meantime, Nguyen has read and binge-watched TV shows to help pass time as school and sports have been canceled.


She’s hit by herself a few times, she said, but it isn’t the same without her teammates.


While she’s tried a few times to get people to play during the postponement, she understands the concerns and the idea of social distancing.


“It has been hard to leave the house, but I most likely will figure out other ways to kill time waiting to be on the courts again,” she said.


While Nguyen said she understands there are more important matters in life than sports, those activities are positive outlets for herself and others.


Whether it’s her duties as wrestling team manager, going to games to support other Cyclones athletics squads or participating; Nguyen said she sees sports as a highlight of life.


“We teens don’t have many places to hang, but sports - now that’s a highlight!” she said. “Being able to get together to watch a football game or basketball game, then head to Sonic after and still talk about the game … it’s the memories that occur in the sporting atmosphere.”


That love of sports is even greater on the tennis court.


There, Nguyen said, she feels happiest.


“Tennis brings a different joy to me,” she said. “Being out there, hearing the amazing sound of the ball hitting your racket … it’s a hard feeling to describe but one I’m already missing.”


LLyons@chieftain.com


Twitter: @luke_lyons14