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Tennis team takes first at Odessa

Courtesy of Kortnie Braudt

Courtesy of Kortnie Braudt

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The varsity tennis team traveled to Permian High School in Odessa Friday, March 2 for their second spring tournament.

Senior Shelbi Braudt placed first in girls singles, senior Sarah Gilliland and junior Taren Wells placed first in girls doubles, junior Mckenzie Leonard and freshman Karstyn Salazar placed second in girls doubles, freshman Bryce Ware and junior Asher Melton placed first in boys doubles, freshmen Kelsey Braudt and Lane Miller placed fourth in mixed doubles, sophomore Ethan Taylor and junior Zach Robinson placed fourth in boys doubles and the team placed first overall.

When we got to Odessa, and I stepped on the court for the first match, I decided I’m going to win this tournament.”

— Shelbi Braudt, 12

“It was my second high school tournament in the spring season to win,” Shelbi said. “I had a hiccup in our last scrimmage match, and practice wasn’t great. I had a hard time getting out of that funk. When we got to Odessa, and I stepped on the court for the first match, I decided I’m going to win this tournament, and I’m not going to let my mental game or opponent get in the way of my goals.”

Shelbi said the tournament was full of competitors she has never competed against.

“In my four years of high school, we have never gone to Odessa,” Shelbi said. “I only knew one other girl that wasn’t from Canyon. It’s good mentally, because I don’t have something to associate them from a past match.”

Shelbi said playing opponents from Randall and other district schools can create challenging expectations.

“When you play someone you’ve never seen someone before, you can’t tell yourself how to play, because you don’t know how they play,” Shelbi said. “You just figure it out and warm up and you’re mentally prepared because you’re now expecting the unexpected.”

Shelbi said she struggled with the pressure she faced as one of the top players.

“As one of the top players, you have to set the example and show what kind of work you have to put in to get to where you are and get in that spot,” Shelbi said. “When I got there, I let the pressure get to me, and I let it get in the way of my mental game instead of going out there and competing. I decided no one can affect the way I play except myself.”

This win for everyone was a big confidence builder.”

— Shelbi Braudt, 12

Shelbi said this tournament was good for the freshmen on the varsity team, because they had the opportunity to play multiple matches and gain more experience for future events.

“We have a good group of freshman,” Shelbi said. “They all have talent, and this experience they’re getting is going to improve their game, get them where they want to be personally and help them get the results they want.”

Shelbi said this tournament will help the team prepare for district and achieve their goal to place as many people in regionals as possible.

“This win for everyone was a big confidence builder,” Shelbi said. “I hope it gave everyone the realization that hard work does pay off and everything we do in practice does help get us where we want to be.”

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Tennis team takes first at Odessa