Soph serve: Valley’s Callahan is RTC Girls Tennis Player of Year
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
Karegan Callahan was on the Tippecanoe Valley JV girls tennis team as a freshman.
She is our RTC Girls Tennis Player of the Year as a sophomore.
This is a credit to her and her hard work. She plays indoors during the winter months at the Warsaw Racquet Club and also plays at the YMCA.
This is also a credit to Valley co-coaches Hunter and Emily Ackerman, who helped give her the belief in herself but also adjusted her game.
Callahan plays very hard and can run down balls that most players cannot get. She makes her opponents hit that one extra shot, and when a player has to hit one more shot to put away a point, it increases the likelihood that the player is going to commit an error.
The season ended with a heartbreaking loss to Whitko in the sectional, and the team said goodbye to four seniors. In addition to Whitko, Valley is also in a sectional with Warsaw, and a lot of work needs to be done to get to that level.
Karegan Callahan is what that level looks like, and she is at the top of our All-RTC team.
We would like to thank area coaches for helping us out by sending us results and telling us about their players. Having said that, this list is ours and ours alone, and we take full responsibility for it based on results and our own observations.
Karegan Callahan (Tippecanoe Valley) – Callahan started the year at No. 2 singles but finished at No. 1. Her serve is not overwhelmingly hard, but she disguises it well from the T from both the deuce and ad courts, and it’s hard to handle.
Lydia Miller (Tippecanoe Valley) – Miller was our Player of the Year last year, but she suffered a serious knee injury during soccer season, and it was not certain how well, or even if, she would play this time. She was a solid No. 2 behind Callahan at the end of the season.
Ella McCarter (Rochester) – McCarter can play both at the baseline and attacking the net. Playing No. 1 singles in the TRC is a tough assignment most every match, but her beating a player from Northfield after losing the first set is a sign that she is gaining experience and handling adversity. She’s only a sophomore.
Lily Ault-Ella Sandbakken (Tippecanoe Valley) – This was a pretty energetic duo who had skills both at the net and on the baseline. Ault is graduating, but Sandbakken is only a sophomore. Will Sandbakken get a new partner next year, or will she make the move to singles?
Olivia Bailey-Audrey Bolinger (Rochester) – Bailey and Bolinger have different personalities – Bailey is more shy and Bolinger more outgoing – and neither played varsity tennis prior to this year, but they are both good athletes, and Bailey’s serve mixed well with Bolinger’s reflexes at the net.
Honorable mention singles
Rily Holloway (Rochester)
Honorable mention doubles
Taylor Howard-Elizabeth Weaver (Rochester)