Kelsey Lawson, Tribune girls tennis player of the year: Kelsey Lawson had been in the thick of the 5A Division I state singles championship each of her first two years at Tempe Corona del Sol. Finally reaching the pinnacle of that event this season meant a lot to her.
Kelsey Lawson had been in the thick of the 5A Division I state singles championship each of her first two years at Tempe Corona del Sol. Finally reaching the pinnacle of that event this season meant a lot to her.
“My freshman year I finished third and last year I took fourth,” Lawson recalled. “I was going down, not up, and told myself I needed to step up.”
Step up she did. Lawson lost just five games in winning her five matches at state earlier this month, culminating in a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Tucson Salpointe’s Maggie McGeorge. Lawson’s remarkable year has earned her recognition as the Tribune girls tennis player of the year.
Lawson, a junior, will have a chance to repeat as champ next year. She won’t go into 2010 wondering if she can win a title but will enter the season with the onus of becoming a two-time champ as motivation. She’s the product of a tennis environment, as her mother played prep and college tennis before her. Younger brother Alex is a member of Corona del Sol’s state-winning doubles team.
“My mom’s been feeding me tennis balls since I was little,” Lawson said. “I’ve been playing since I was 6. I’ve always liked playing tennis. I wasn’t forced into playing. It’s fun.”
Lawson made it her goal to win state after finishing fourth in 2008.
“I played pretty well,” Lawson said. “I was so focused on pulling it out. I wanted to win it for myself and my school.”
Both Kesley and brother Alex were pulling for one another. It didn’t figure either would see the other in their title match since both started at the same time at the same place.
“After I won my match I was able to go to another court and watch (Alex) play his third set,” Lawson said. “That was neat.”
Not as neat, however, as winning her first high school title.