The Girls tennis team recently had a very successful state tournament this last weekend, taking 2ndoverall. The Girls Had high hopes to take first this year, but with the earlier mess up of the lineup, getting first turned to be a much more difficult task than it seemed. The Girls put up a considerable fight and should be incredibly proud of what they accomplished this year. Each of the girls had their own struggles that they fought hard to overcome. When asked about some specific struggles they endured during their matches, a few of the girls had some inspiring answers.
Sarah Major and Abbie Dana took the first place spot in the First singles position, seemingly with ease, but it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows for them either.
“Some of our sets were close, we had two matches where the set scores were 7-5. A way to make sure we were the ones to win was our teamwork. We had to be there for each other and work as a team to win.”
Abbie Dana said in regards to her doubles partner, Sarah Major.
“Doubles is a team effort and we had/have been working hard on making our playing styles work together.”
When asked about individual struggles, Sarah’s response provoked some interesting insight into to the mind of a tennis player.
“A challenge for me was frustration with myself and me not meeting my own high expectations when it really mattered, even if they were little mistakes that didn’t drastically affect the outcome of the match.”
Though the mental aspect can be difficult to overcome, Major also gave some insight as to how she overcame the frustration.
“I think I overcame it by remembering that I didn’t want this state win to be branded with frustration like it was last year. I was there to have a good time and play my best tennis.”
Juliana Cooksey, the first singles player, also put up an incredible fight, she played to the best of her ability and should take pride in what she accomplished. The second Singles player, Autumn Eaton, also fought hard to overcome some challenges.
“A challenge was probably playing different types of players each round. I overcame it because of all the practice I’ve had and realizing that not everyone is the same player”
Mikaela Laws, The 3rdsingles player, also had challenges to overcome, though her struggles were much different than the other players. After her very first match that lasted 3 hours, her energy level was completely drained, both mentally and physically. To add to this amount of fatigue, as she walked off the court she noticed a sharp pain in her left quad. A few weeks before, she had partially torn her left Quadriceps and though she thought it had healed by now, it seemed that it had not healed as quickly as she hoped. After some examination it was said that she had re-injured her leg, to the point where lifting her leg was excruciating. Yet she had to quickly wrap it, take some ibuprofen, and she was off to her next match.
“She had a painful injury that happened unexpectedly, she could have given up and not even tried but she killed it. She pushed past the pain obstacle over and over and gave it her all.” (Kierstin Laws)
Though Laws was visibly in pain and was struggling to sprint, the fire inside of her did not cease. She fell several times because of the injury but didn’t fail to get back up time and time again. The line judge on the court constantly told her she had the option to forfeit, take a medical break, and just to give the other girl the win. She refused to let this happen.
“I didn’t want to walk off that court knowing that I didn’t even continue to try, that I just said to myself ‘well, I’m injured, I know I’m not going to win because I cant run to the ball, I might as well give up now’ I knew that I would regret it, It wouldn’t be like me to not use every ounce of myself that I had left. What ended up happening was that I just kept telling myself that one day I wanted to look back on this and say ‘ I fought through pain and tears to play that match, I did the absolute best that I possibly could and I regret nothing”
As for the 2nddoubles players, their teamwork and compatibility is constantly surprising us. Elle Ferguson and Elle Dunyon are both sophomores that are new to the team this year, and being on varsity your first year isn’t an easy feat. From the first time they practiced together it was obvious they would make the perfect pair, and that they did. The girls were constantly supporting and cheering each other on. They seamlessly claimed, revived, and hit incredible shots. “Our support for each other and our strong team relationship helped us to work together as a team and get far in state. WE played some girls who played differently then we are used to so we had to adjust to their style of playing to overcome it.” (Elle Dunyon)
Tennis is an incredibly challenging sport, both mentally and physically. The physical demands that come with being able to constantly and quickly change directions are extremely high. You must also be able to spring into action to get to short balls, and perfect the ability to quickly have perfect technique, as one tiny mistake could drastically change the outcome of a shot. The girl’s tennis team was phenomenal and the things they accomplished and overcame have made this a year to remember.