The journey to state

Girls tennis members experience state for the first time


Ally Huffman

Senior Brynlee Hendricks prepares to hit during a game. Hendricks was one of the girls who made it to state.

Carlie Connors, Yearbook editor

Senior Brynlee Hendricks and junior Mackenzie Jones were new doubles partners this tennis season. After many wins, the girls made their way to state. The state tournament took place in Springfield on Oct. 19-20.

The path to earning a spot at state started with districts. At districts, the girls advanced into the final four teams and were set to play a team from Howell who they had not played in the past. Hendricks and Jones expected it to be an easy win, but they quickly found out they had to put up a fight after losing the first set. They needed to win this match to advance to sectionals and have a shot at making it to state.

“Very frustrated and stressed, we talked to each other and decided to put it behind us. We pretended it was a fresh start and powered through to win the [second and] third set and ultimately advance,” Hendricks said.

When sectionals came around the girls just needed to beat the Hazelwood team to advance which they successfully accomplished. The doubles pair had made their way to state, Jones for the second time and Hendricks for the first.

After making it this far, the girls went into state with the mindset of wanting to do their best.

“We weren’t expecting to place high, so we focused on just enjoying the atmosphere and all the amazing tennis going on around us,” Hendricks said.

The girls had tons of supporting going into this tournament including their coaches, parents, and fellow teammate senior Caroline Schroeder.

“The teams they had to play were tough and really talented, but so are Brynlee and Kenzie. I think us being there was a reminder that regardless of whether or not they won, we still supported them and would be there to cheer them on,” Schroeder said.

Once the actual games came around, Hendricks and Jones ended up losing both of their matches. This ultimately lost them a chance at placing.

“State was a whole new level of tennis. The girls there were way more intense and played a higher level of tennis than Bryn and I as a doubles team hadn’t experienced yet,” Jones said.

State was a whole new level of tennis,”

— Mackenzie Jones

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