North Atlanta girls’ tennis player Leeza Kurtz comes from a family with an extensive history in the sport. Her mother Patrizia was a standout at the College of Charleston, while older sisters Sofi and Emma have had successful stints at Tulane University and Vanderbilt University, respectively.
Kurtz has emerged as one of the top players in the state with an undefeated singles mark of 13-0 for the Warriors this season.
“She is mentally a tough and smart player,” North Atlanta head coach Mike Hutchings said.
Her efforts have helped North Atlanta reach the Class AAAAAA semifinals in the state playoffs. The Warriors started the tournament with wins over Creekview and Lanier in the first two rounds. North Atlanta won at Glynn Academy 4-0 in the quarterfinals April 24, with Kurtz winning her individual match 6-0, 6-1.
“I’m very happy seeing as this is the first time the tennis team has ever made it this far,” she said. “I couldn’t be any prouder of all the girls, and I feel that we have progressed greatly as a team.”
Kurtz played several sports earlier in her career before settling on tennis.
“I played competitive soccer until the seventh grade while also doing volleyball, track and cross country for Sutton Middle School,” she said. “Every summer since I was little I have done swim team as well. This year I’ve become more and more focused on my tennis career, so I didn’t do any fall sports for North Atlanta, although I debated doing volleyball or cross country.”
Kurtz has received assistance from her family throughout her tennis journey.
“My mother has been my main coach throughout my life and has taught me everything I know,” she said. “My dream is to play college tennis, and the paths my sisters took inspire me greatly.”
Since settling on the sport, Kurtz finds enjoyment in the sport.
“My favorite aspect of tennis is the individuality,” she said. “No matter how many people you play against, each opponent has their own game style. In every match you must adapt to match the different styles. My favorite player is Sloane Stephens because she’s not afraid to hit the ball very hard as well as mixing in some softer and craftier shots. She’s a fun player to watch with a lot of variety in her game.”
Kurtz, the daughter of Patrizia and Ryan, lists running, playing team sports with family and friends and reading as hobbies of interest. She has a 96 average and said literature and history as her favorite subjects.
North Atlanta will face either Lakeside (Evans) or Northview in the state semifinals.