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getcategories
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Midwest / Ohio Valley

Senior Shine: Ohio Valley

May 19, 2020

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For many of our Ohio Valley high school seniors, their final season was cut short. As our way of celebrating all of these wonderful players, we have gathered stories from across Ohio Valley to celebrate our amazing class of 2020! Congratulations on a great high school tennis career, we can't wait to see what's in store next.

Zeinab Elkhansa, George Washington High School

What will you miss most about high school tennis?

The thing I will miss about high school tennis would have to be tennis practice. I felt like that was were we all got to really bond and get to know one another. Going into matches with the type of feeling that there is always support between all of us really means a lot to me.

 

What are your plans for playing tennis after high school?

After High School, I plan to attend Randolph College, where I will be double majoring in Business and Global Studies, while playing tennis the next four years.

 

What is one song that will always make you think of your high school tennis team?

Count on you by Big Time Rush, after practice we would always go to my car, and just listen to that song on the way home on full blast. Before our matches we would sit in my car and listen to that song for good luck.

 

Who is your favorite tennis player?

My favorite tennis player would have to be Ashleigh Barty. No matter what her outcome is she always has a positive attitude and mindset on the court. She is very focused while humble all at the same time, which is something I am working towards being on the court.

 

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

I would say the best advice I have received is to always put 120% into every match, if you win great, take the mistakes you had in that match and apply them to the next, if you lose, take what you did wrong and don’t make the same mistake twice.


Marie Discini, Parkersburg Catholic High School

A note from Marie: 

I would like to thank my parents and my coaches, as well as my hitting partners for getting me through this hard journey. Not having my final high school season is truly heartbreaking, but I cannot wait to compete as a Division I athlete come Fall 2020.


Milan Gonela, The Wellington School

What will you miss most about high school tennis?

What I will miss most about high school tennis is being with some of my closest friends and representing my school. It is encouraging to look beside you and see your teammates battling for each other.

 

What are your plans for playing tennis after high school?

After high school, I plan to continue to play tennis at Denison University.

 

What one item do you have to have in your tennis bag no matter what?

I always keep an extra pair of shoes. You never know if your shoes will rip, tear, or break, so I always keep an extra pair in case.

 

What is your high school coach’s most memorable saying?

Our assistant coach, Dick Cassie, would say, "You don't have that shot!" He would say this when we would hit a crazy or wild shot.

 

What are you most proud of in your high school tennis career?

Definitely winning back-to-back team state championships. It is something that I am really proud of, and wish we had a shot at a three-peat.


Christopher Kirchgessner, Lancaster High School

What are your plans for playing tennis after high school?

I’m going to Ohio University Lancaster, and I plan on playing tennis there as well.

 

What is your strength on the court? Weakness on the court?

My strength is definitely my backhand. My weakness is that I’m too patient and not aggressive with my shots.

 

What is your go-to shot on court?

I would say lobs, because it’s one of the most aggravating shots for opponents and it’s a good change of pace.

 

Who is your favorite tennis player?

Venus Williams, because she’s humble and determined.

 

Did you prefer singles or doubles and why?

Singles, because I’m not as comfortable playing at the net in doubles.


Wyatt Watson, Lancaster High School

What will you miss most about high school tennis?

The thing I will miss the most are probably the bus rides me and my teammates would just have fun the whole way but as soon as we got off the bus it was go time everyone would just flip a switch.

 

What is your strength on the court? Weakness on the court?

My strength would have to be my volleys, my weakness is backhands.

 

What are you most proud of in your high school tennis career?

The thing I am most proud of was when I was moved to first singles when one of my teammates got sick and I played some of the best tennis of my life, and after one of the matches that week, one of the other teams coaches asked me where I was going to college to play tennis.

 

What is your go-to shot on court?

My go-to would be just getting to the net, that’s where I’m the best I tried to get to the net as much as possible.

 

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

The best advice I ever received was from my dad after a tough match he said “the only mistakes you make are the ones you don’t learn from” and that helped me on and off the court.

 

A note from Wyatt:

My favorite memory was when I got to watch my friend Colten Clark


Azeem Khan, George Washington High School


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