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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Getting to Know the Tennessee Men; Kimbell Wins Fourth Texas High School Title; Sock Dominates Kansas High School Competition

Amanda Pruitt, the men's tennis SID at Tennessee, has done her part to connect Volunteer fans across the globe with her live blogging at matches. The families of players from Australia, Serbia and Italy can do more than refresh the live scoring page; through Pruitt's blog they can ask and answer questions, learn about the team's history and get a feel for the atmosphere at the matches. It's a fantastic service, and she has cultivated hundreds of appreciative college tennis fans with her commitment. Mike Strange, a reporter from the Knoxville News Sentinel may be one of them, but even if he isn't, he has the good sense to lead his feature story on the team with her live blog. The article itself is a very engaging and informative look at the varied backgrounds of the top seven or eight players on the team and how they ended up in Knoxville. You probably need to be on the team to know everything Strange coaxes out of the coach and players, and I'll bet even they learn one or two tidbits.

The Texas High School Championships are this week, and Lilly Kimbell has captured her fourth straight title, winning the 5A singles championship 6-3, 6-1 over Lindsey Tristan. The Austin American-Statesman had this story on Kimbell's victory. Kimbell is also entered in the US Open Qualifying Playoff that will be held in Arlington, Texas next month.

Russell Bader won the boys 5A singles championship in a much more competitive battle, beating Tomas Stillman 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(0). For more on that match, see this American-Statesman article.

The Kansas high school championships are this weekend, and Jack Sock's quest for his third straight title has gotten a lot of media attention in the Kansas City area. In this article from Sun Publications, Sock explains why he still plays high school tennis and where he's likely to go to college if he goes (Texas or Nebraska, where brother Eric plays). There's also reference to a rare "golden set" that Sock won from a high school opponent.

Weeks after the other conferences announced their awards, the Big 12 revealed their winners and all-conference teams today.
Player of the Year: tie: Austin Krajicek, Texas A & M, and Dimitar Kutrovsky, Texas
Coach of the Year: Michael Center, Texas
Freshman of the Year: Costin Paval, Oklahoma
Newcomer of the Year: Jeff Dadamo, Texas A & M

Player of the Year: Lenka Broosova, Baylor
Coach of the Year: Scott Jacobson, Nebraska
Freshman of the Year: Aeriel Ellis, Texas
Newcomer of the Year: Sarah Meghoufel, Oklahoma State


work-hard-tennis said...

Lilly's battle was competitive, you just wouldn't know it from the scores. Both papers in the area had big stories ahead of time on "how she could make Texas HS tennis history" if she won 4 in a row at the 4A/5A level. So many people in her school told her "Oh you are going to do it." Lots of pressure.

As we all know, it is one thing to be ranked high on paper above another kid. It is another thing to do it for a 4th time, with all your high school peers watching, and battling your nerves. It isn't like the opponent says, "Oh, you are supposed to win? Okay, go ahead."

Isn't it funny how HS tennis in front of all your peers can make you far more nervous than a regular supernational?

justthefacts said...

Lily KImbell is a genius. I have been watching her play since she was 11, and have always compared her to a Martina Hingis..GREAT backhand..crafty..not afraid of coming to net..in addition to of course being "good"..just a smart, SMART player. It will be very interesting to see how far she can go, with her game..which can be very troublesome to play against.