You Got Served

Senior Discusses Her Journey in Tennis, Future Plans

Finally+done+with+high+school%2C+senior+Lilly+McPherson+can+be+seen+tossing+her+graduation+cap+in+the+air.+According+to+McPherson%2C+changing+schools+was+very+difficult+for+her+since+she+went+to+a+private+school+and+went+from+a+class+of+35+to+around+500+people%2C+so+she+said+making+it+into+tennis+was+a+bit+harder+when+she+moved%2C+since+there+were+more+people.+%22I+took+a+break+from+tennis+because+I+was+scared+I+wouldn%E2%80%99t+be+good+enough+for+making+the+team%2C+but+I+got+over+my+fear+and+tried+out+and+I+kept+playing+because+it+was+the+sport+that+I+loved+the+most%2C%22+McPherson+said.+

Photo courtesy of Lilly McPherson

Finally done with high school, senior Lilly McPherson can be seen tossing her graduation cap in the air. According to McPherson, changing schools was very difficult for her since she went to a private school and went from a class of 35 to around 500 people, so she said making it into tennis was a bit harder when she moved, since there were more people. “I took a break from tennis because I was scared I wouldn’t be good enough for making the team, but I got over my fear and tried out and I kept playing because it was the sport that I loved the most,” McPherson said.

Rachana Kommineni, Reporter

With sweat dripping down the side of her face, she fiercely attacks the ball with her racket, looking into her opponent’s eyes. She bounces on her feet to prepare for a swift change in direction as she hits the ball back to her opponent. Some people may find tennis as a boring sport, but not senior Lilly McPherson.

McPherson’s passion for tennis started at a really young age. According to McPherson, her friend was going to a summer camp when they were both in second grade and convinced McPherson to go with her. 

“After that I would go to other summer camps and once I got the chance in middle school I played for my school I attended,” McPherson said. “I started so young because I wanted a hobby like my older siblings.” 

This is McPherson’s first year on the Varsity tennis team. McPherson played tennis at her previous school during her freshman year, but sophomore year she transferred and took a break from in-school tennis, however, she still played out of school.  Junior year McPherson began playing with the school team again.

“Most of the tournaments we played in during the spring season I was able to place and receive a medal or trophy,” McPherson said. 

McPherson said that she wanted to be on the Varsity team this year because it was her last year in high school and she enjoys playing against more difficult opponents. 

“I love being on Varsity, but it doesn’t feel much different than being on JV because we all practice together and talk to each other, so I don’t feel a difference besides going to different tournaments,” McPherson said. “I like to play more difficult opponents because I think that it makes me better.”

McPherson plays both doubles and singles. She said she also loves how intense it is on the court and how you’re able to let all your stress out by hitting the ball.

“When playing singles tennis I enjoy the aspect of it just being you and another person on the court and once you win a match you know that it was you that was able to win the match and it makes me feel really good afterwards,” McPherson said. “With doubles tennis you get to play with someone whether you’re close to them or not but y’all become super close after because you need to learn to trust them and play together.”

Due to the pandemic, the Varsity tennis team wasn’t able to go to some of the tournaments and do some of the fun activities like in past years. McPherson said that because tennis is an outside sport it didn’t affect them too badly. 

“I don’t compete outside of school,” McPherson said. “When I play outside of school it’s working with other coaches to improve my skills and work on what I can do better. I was sad about not competing as much because if how much I like the sport, I was just appreciative that I got to play senior year.”

McPherson’s last match was on Mar. 26, and she won the consolation bracket.

“The consolation bracket is the bracket you’re put in if you lose your very first match, you get a second chance to compete and win that group of people,” McPherson said. “I personally do not like the consolation bracket as much because I would like to compete for the #1 spot and I am naturally a competitive person.”

Although McPherson doesn’t plan on going to college for tennis, the colleges that she’d like to attend have tennis groups and other tennis related activities that she said she would like to try out. For college, McPherson plans on going to A&M to study mechanical engineering.

“I used to play other sports but because tennis is year round I decided to just focus on the one sport,” McPherson said. “By focusing on one sport, I have time to do other things like homework or other activities.”