Newcomers win bronze at state tennis tourney
With only one year of experience, Senior Ellie Parker and Sophomore Claire Bullington came into this season, exceeding expectations by not only making it to the tennis state finals in a larger 4A district, but winning a bronze there on April 10th.
Varsity TennisCoach Jordan Dvoracek emphasized that the team go back to the basics and simply focus on being the last team to hit the ball over the net.
“Ellie and I learned how to play one game, one set, one point at a time,” said Bullington.
The District tournament, which took place in Midland, Texas, allowed the best boys and girls from each team to compete for a place at the State competition.
Senior James Walsh, and Sophomores Sam Hall and Matthew Walraven
represented the boys’ team at District.
The girl’s team was comprised of Seniors Ellie Parker, Macy Noe, MiKayla Craig, and Melody Burris, along with Sophomores Maci Stewart and Claire Bullington.
The Girls managed to place 2nd overall in District. Bullington and Parker placed 3rd in doubles, Noe and Craig placed 4th in Doubles, and Burris placed 5th in Singles.
District lines were re-drawn this year for tennis, putting us up against much larger schools, such as Grapevine Faith.
Bullington and Parker capitalized on their strengths and relied on each other to advance to the State semifinals.
“We both have played other sports very competitively, so we try to have great communication during and between plays,” said Bullington. “We had the same fiery spirit to win because we didn’t want our opponents to see us as new players to the game of tennis, but rather as tough competitors.”
Bullington and Parker agree that prior athletic experience has helped them to play smart and consistently. However, they had to face several new challenges during the competitions, such as playing in a dust storm and fighting through injuries. Despite these obstacles, they put all of their effort into every match.
Coach Jordan Dvoracek, now in his second year as our coach, had the challenge of coaching a very new team.
“Claire Bullington and Ellie Parker came to me last year, having never played the game of tennis before,” said Dvoracek. “Claire excels in volleyball and Ellie in soccer. With their athleticism, determination, and competitiveness, they reached the State Semifinals in only their second year in tennis.
Dvoracek has seen interest in tennis at the school grow since last season. The additional players who have joined the team have made this season unique.
“What was special about this year’s team was the overall success of the team because more players had individual success,” said Dvoracek.
The season has now ended, but the team has no shortage of fond memories to share and reminisce about.
“Whether it was sitting on the bus, in the hotel, or even going to get Starbucks or ice-cream, I enjoyed that time getting to know those players just a little bit better,” said Dvoracek.