"I started when I was nine and I'm 17, so it's been a long time since I've been playing. I've gotten a lot better and learned a lot, especially mentally. Physically, I've gotten a lot stronger," said Tenaya Moranda.
Starting at singles since she was an underclassman, Moranda has been the star of Palm Desert High School's tennis team. Now as a senior, she's taken on an important leadership presence.
"It sets the tone, so just helpful to have someone that you can use as an example. To watch how she moves around the court, everyone can see it. So it's just beneficial to have her," said her coach Morgan McIntosh.
McIntosh said every girl on the team looks up to her, especially the young talent. A role Moranda embraces.
"You just see those girls kind of light up," McIntosh said. "It's intimidating for them because they know they need to perform. But, it's also been nice to just see her not care that she has to hit with someone who maybe isn't at the same level as she is."
One of her favorite parts of playing tennis at Palm Desert - the team environment.
"We are all so close, it's literally my best friends. All of us playing together, there's eight seniors this year, we've been together since freshman year and we've gotten so close from it," she said.
"It's an inside joke, but she always says she'd die for this team. She'd die for her teammates, it's an ongoing joke," McIntosh said. "So that's just kind of her personality out here. But when it comes to playing, she's very serious."
Moranda heads off to college next year, where she hopes to continue playing the sport she loves. But for now, she's looking forward to a fun year with her teammates.
More: I-Team investigations
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