Strong beginning, stronger end

Girls tennis begins to end a successful season with districts


Gracie Kruep

Senior Jordan Merli prepares to serve. This is her third year on tennis, and first as a captain.

Carlie Connors, Yearbook editor

Any time we won a point against Howell was awesome because they are so good. It’s a confidence booster, so any time I won a point or hit a winner against Howell was a highlight,”

— Jordan Merli

As the end of the season approaches, girls tennis has had a lot of matches recently including their senior night and one of the biggest tournaments of the season. The district tournament was held on Oct. 1-2 at Parkway Central High School. The team had high hopes of doing well, considering they brought their top six players to compete in both the doubles and singles portions.

Competition was close throughout the tournament. Howell was one of the team’s biggest competitors like always, but the other schools also brought their best players. It was truly anyone’s game. In order to pull out on top, the team cheered each other on throughout each game.

“We were just all supportive of each other, and even through tough spots, we were encouraging each other,” junior Alyssa Smith said.

The team did so well because they motivated each other, but each player also had their own individual drive. Senior Jordan Merli knew this would be one of her last times on the court, which pushed her to try her hardest.

“That was the last time that I was gonna play and the last chance I have to earn a medal,” Merli said.

The district title came down to either Central or Howell.

“Going in the championship against, Howell I think we all kind of expected to lose. So our mindset going in was, ‘Literally, we can only go up from here,’ so we went out there and we just had fun,” Merli said.

At the end of the day Central lost the title to Howell, but the doubles team consisting of senior Brynlee Hendricks and junior Mackenzie Jones placed second and will be moving on to the sectionals tournament.

One of the biggest events to end of the end of the year aside from districts was senior night. Senior night took place on Sept. 28 and brought forward a lot of emotions and reflection for the team.

“I do these pep talks before every game, so senior night I did my pep talk. They say they’re going to miss it, and I’m going to miss being a captain because I like to cheer them on all the time,” Heckenkamp said.

The team will continue to encourage each other as two of their strongest players enter into districts and possibly qualify for state.
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