Koziol qualifies for ‘Little Mo’ nationals

tennis

Olivia Koziol shows off her trophy after reaching the semifinals at the Little Mo Tennis Tournament North Regional Tournament in July.

Ten-year-old Olivia Koziol of Wilton will be competing in the 20th Annual Little Mo Nationals tennis tournament on Sept. 29-Oct. 2 in Austin, Texas.

This event, known as the ‘Road to the Little Mo Nationals’, is run by the Maureen Connelly Brinker Tennis Foundation, which benefits children throughout the U.S. and around the world.

The Little Mo Tennis Tournament is one of the premier challenges for young players (ages 8-12) in the country. The annual event is named in honor of Maureen Connolly, who at the age of 18 became the first woman to ever capture the Grand Slam of tennis in 1953. An injury ended her career the next year, and she died in 1968 from cancer.

Tournament play begins in 19 sectional tournaments, with the top eight finishers advancing to one of four regional championships.

Koziol’s ‘road’ to the nationals began by winning her sectional tournament in Newtown Square, Pa., in May, defeating both the number-one and number-two seeds from New Jersey to capture the title.

Two months later, she competed in the North Regional Tournament in Chatham, N.J., where she won three matches, defeating the number-four seed from Illinois, 7-6 (8-6), 6-1.

The North Region includes the qualifiers from the New England, Eastern, Middle States, North and Midwest sections.

Reaching the semifinals at regionals qualified her for nationals in the Girls 10’s division. She will be just one of 32 girls from around the country competing for the prestigious title.

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