Getting selected as an All State athlete is a pretty nice achievement. Do it twice and, well, that’s even better. Three times isn’t unheard of but quite impressive. But four times? That certainly is very unusual since, for starters, it requires earning varsity status as a freshman. It also means being one of the best at a particular sport each year.
Julia Frattaroli, who graduated from Newtown High School this spring, earned All State recognition for tennis in all four of her seasons as a Nighthawk, capping off an impressive top doubles play career.
“When Julia came in to the high school, I knew she was good — I did not realize how good. She has so much natural talent when it comes to tennis. I loved watching her play,” Newtown High Coach Maureen Maher recalls. “With her talent and hard work and determination, she grew and thrived as a player. Her love of the game of doubles also drove her.”
Frattaroli grew up playing singles and doubles, but began to focus exclusively on doubles play in middle school.
“I really like playing with other people. I think that’s why I like doubles so much — I like working with people,” said Frattaroli, who plans to continue doing so in her career. She will study occupational therapy at the University of Scranton beginning this fall and also intends to try to walk onto the Division III school’s tennis team.
Maher says there is a lot of strategy which Frattaroli studied and then incorporated into her game with her partners. The coach added that Frattaroli has the personality to work well with teammates to make them the strongest tandem possible.
Determining how to best work together and communicating on the court, while those are parts of what she likes about tennis in general, are also the toughest aspects of playing the game, Frattaroli said.
During the course of Frattaroli’s high school career, she worked with a trio of different doubles partners — Meghan Loose her first year, Stephanie Roman her next two, then Aimee Alexander this spring.
Clearly, her skill on the court, ability to adapt to changes in partners, and the benefit of being coupled with talented players all contributed to Frattaroli’s winning ways.
“Another reason she was so successful, I believe, was the support of her mom, dad, and two grandpas,” said Maher, adding that her family members were regulars in attendance to cheer on the team at matches.
Frattaroli says she enjoys playing up at the net more than on the baseline, but it’s safe to say she’s a strong player anywhere on the court.
She went 98-6 during her four years and helped the Nighthawks capture two straight South-West Conference team championships — her sophomore and junior seasons — and also took home individual SWC tourney titles.
The 18-year-old has played the game since she was just four. Consistency — hitting the court almost every day, year round — is crucial, Frattaroli believes. She trains at Middlebury Racquet Club under the direction of Matt Cusack and Amy Read. Focusing on and weaknesses and finding ways to get improve during the offseason are important to Frattaroli.
Her favorite matches are the close contests.
“I feel like that’s when you play your best tennis,” she said.
This ability to play in pressure-filled contests is part of what led to Frattaroli and Alexander to reach the state tournament semifinals this spring, and played a role in her earning all of those wins and, thus, All State accolades each year.
“She worked hard in season but also worked really hard off season. She was determined to make All State, and every year. I knew she could,” Maher said. “I can’t wait to go to Scranton and watch her play.”