Matching Success: Girls Tennis 2012

Taylor Runion

After a close state tournament last year in which the Lady Lancers placed second behind Blue Valley North, the bar was set high for the following season. When two freshmen, Stephanie Wilcox and Elizabeth Barnickel, made two of the the top six varsity spots, they felt extra pressure to live up to last years success.

“Last year it was a great season but it was kind tough because we won singles and doubles but we lost the team category, senior Mimi Fotopoulos said.

The top six varsity players competed for individual and team titles at state. While Wilcox and Barnickel didn’t feel pressure about living up to expectations at the beginning of the season, they knew they would.

“l know we all want to win state, Barnickel said. “l think we all just know we can make it happen so there’s no need to talk about it, but I’m sure as the time will get closer we will discuss it more.

They knew that in order to win, all six girls who went to state would have to play their hardest and step up their game.

In order to win state, the bottom part of your team has to do well too,” Wilcox said. “It’s not just number one and number two.

As State approached, the girls worked more hoping it would calm their nerves and benefit them in the long run.

“[l was nervous] just because I am a freshman and it’s brand new, Wilcox said. “So leading up to state I just practiced a lot and put in extra hours.

Wilcox played outside of high school season at an academy. After playing and beating her state opponent in singles out of high school season, she was unprepared for the change of pace that doubles brought at state.

“It gets frustrating when you’re down to people that you feel like you work a lot harder than and you play more than them, but you can’t underestimate anybody in doubles because it’s so different, Wilcox  said. “l almost feel more pressure with doubles because your partner’s depending on you.”