Sydney Van Alphen stepped it up and nearly came away with the grand prize recently in Laguna Niguel.
Van Alphen, who had recently turned 11 and was a student at Top of the World School in Laguna Beach, entered the Laguna Niguel Girls' 14s Open Tennis Tournament in mid-June and came away with a second-place finish at the Laguna Niguel Racquet Club.
In the division final, Van Alphen lost to the tournament's No. 1-seed Megan McCray.
To reach the final, Van Alphen, who was not ranked in the 14s division, defeated both the No. 2 and No. 4 seeds.
It was the first time Van Alphen had competed in a 14s tournament. She said she lost a first-round match in her first attempt playing up a division.
"I was really happy to get second-place in the 14s," said Van Alphen, who has two years left in the girls' 12s division. "It was a good tournament and it had a lot of good players."