Kelsey Lawson may have been the best girls tennis player in the East Valley (again), but she was unofficially second place in her own house.
Alex Lawson is two years younger than his older sister, but he, too, won a state championship this season, and the Lawson siblings hitting with one another (and Alex always winning practice games) only helped Kelsey. The Corona del Sol senior lost eight games in the 5A Division I state tournament, one more than Alex and Kyle Ogren in the 5A-I boys doubles championship bracket.
"He owns me a lot," Kelsey said of her brother. "He's pretty good."
Her goals not only included a championship repeat - done - but to lose fewer games than her 2009 championship run (5).
No luck there, but through the pressure of being a favorite to repeat as champion, the Corona del Sol senior didn't lose a match all season.
Talent runs in this family. Kelsey's grandmother played in a U.S. Open, and Kelsey met Billie Jean King at a book signing at Changing Hands.
"That was pretty cool," Kelsey said.
With an interest in writing - she was part of the school paper - Kelsey is headed to DePaul in Chicago this fall after she plays in a few junior national tournaments this summer. A significant uptick in college competition, but Lawson likes DePaul coach Mark Ardizzone and the idea of "trying" colder weather.
She's going to be pushed, but odds are, she'll push back.
"Practices are a lot more demanding and he's a demanding coach," she said. "It'll be the challenge of tennis, training and school. I'm looking forward to it."
All-Tribune first team
Player School Yr. Comment
Kelsey Lawson Corona del Sol Sr. Two-time 5A-I singles champ headed to DePaul
Gina Losole Notre Dame Jr. Two-time 4A-II singles champion for three-peat team champions
Jackie Chang/Kelsie Sanborn Notre Dame Sr./So. 4A-II doubles champions; Chang, who is off to North Carolina, was part of 12 golf/tennis titles
Priscilla Annoual Pinnacle Sr. Arguably best in state repeated as 5A-II state champion
Chelsea Sloan Queen Creek Sr. Four-year ace and Desert Sky player of year finished second in 4A-I singles after undefeated regular season
Erica Medlin Mesquite Jr. Finished second to Lawson in 5A-I; could go undefeated in 2011
All-Tribune second team
Player School Yr. Comment
Michele Yu Xavier Sr. Top player the past two years for 5A-I team runner-up Gators
Emily Harris Desert Mtn. Sr. Second place in 5A-II singles capped great badminton/tennis career
Amanda Moore/Julia Stosz Highland Jr./Sr. 5A-I runners-up in state doubles; Moore an all-region singles player
Natalie Martin Xavier Sr. Quarterfinalist for state runner-up headed to Seattle Univ.
Naida Ortega Chandler So. 4th in state doubles; went 12-2 in singles and won E.V. Invitational.
Lidia Csernak Hamilton Fr. Third place in 5A-I singles
Apache Junction: Jessica Iniguez, Sr.; Kylie Bocskay, Sr.
Cactus Shadows: Zoe Hoffman, Jr.; Kelly Maroney, Fr.
Chandler: Luisa Lopes, Sr.
Corona del Sol: Maia Castiglione, Fr.
Desert Mountain: Kristie Lee, Fr.
Desert Vista: Kacie Bottock, Jr.; Justine Quaggen, Jr.
Fountain Hills: Jenna Harris, So.; Rachel Stoor, Jr.
Gilbert Christian: Ali Gibson, Jr.; Ashley Oitzman, Jr.
Hamilton: Candace Rizzi Wise, Fr.
Horizon: Breanna Forster, Sr.; Jessica Trink, Jr.
Mesa: Lindsay Killian, Sr.; Jenny Nguyen, Sr.
McClintock: Mary Jo Kolze, Sr.
Mountain View: Demi Daniels, Fr; Annika Huish, Sr; Maizy Porter, Fr.
Notre Dame: Caroline Eversman, So.
Pinnacle: Katie Metz, So.; Mackenzie Onofry, Jr.
Queen Creek: Sam Horst, Sr.
Red Mountain: Danielle Huss, Sr.; Alex Marlow, Jr.
Saguaro: Skylar Sularz, Jr.
Scottsdale Christian: MacKenzie Swift, Sr.
Memorable Moments from the 2010 season
• With her state championship-winning brother watching (Alex Lawson won 5A-I boys doubles), Corona del Sol senior Kelsey Lawson won a second consecutive 5A-I singles state championship in straight sets. Lawson is headed to DePaul this fall but not before she went the entire season undefeated and didn’t lose a game in the state tournament until the semifinals. Pinnacle’s Priscilla Annoual won the 5A-II championship in a close match with Desert Mountain’s Emily Harris, and Gina Losole helped Notre Dame sweep the 4A-II championships.
• Speaking of Notre Dame sweeps, Jackie Chang clean up the hardware in high school. She won her fourth doubles championship, this time playing with Kelsie Sanborn, as the Saints won the team championship for a fourth year in a row. Between tennis and golf, Chang finished high school with 12 state championships as either part of a team or as an individual.