By Chris Parker
There are many talented girls tennis players across our coverage area. Below are some of the top girls tennis players to watch this season
This watchlist can be found in print in the Fall O-Zone Preview Magazine available this week at all southwest Missouri Casey’s general stores.
Kassidy Anderson, Mt. Vernon, Senior
Anderson is entering just her third season playing tennis, but you wouldn’t know if from her resume. Last year, Anderson and doubles partner Lyndsey Hood went 25-4 overall and finished 12th overall at the Class 1 state tournament. Anderson posted a 16-8 record as a singles players. She won the No. 3 singles draw at the Big 8 Tournament.
Madeleine Fulk, Central, Senior
Fulk hovered around .500 in singles with an 11-8 overall record, but she and partner Evelyn VanDenBerg were elite on the doubles court. They were Springfield Invitational, district and sectional champions. Their season culminated with a fourth-place finish in doubles at state. Fulk played No. 2 singles for Central and helped the Lady Bulldogs to conference and district championships there as well.
Claire Griesemer, Catholic, Junior
Griesemer’s sophomore year resume is littered with accolades from an outstanding doubles season with teammate Ashley Andrews. The duo was 26-4 overall, the Big 8 conference champion, Republic Tournament champion, Springfield Invitational runner-up and fourth in the Class 1 State tournament. She played as the No. 2 singles player and posted an 11-2 singles record helping the Lady Irish to a fourth-place finish in Class 1 as a team.
Erin Jarvis, Catholic, Junior
Jarvis is the area’s top returning player as only a junior. She posted a sparkling 27-2 singles record to go with an unblemished 13-0 doubles record as a sophomore. Jarvis was the Big 8 Player of the Year, district champion, sectional champion, Springfield Invitational champion and Republic Tournament finalist. At state, Jarvis finished seventh as an individual. She also was a key to Catholic’s Class 1 fourth-place finish as a team.
Johanna Jeyaraj, Thomas Jefferson, Junior
Thomas Jefferson finished as the district runner-up to Nevada in the team competition last year. Jeyaraj was a big reason why Thomas Jefferson (enrollment: 117) was able to push Nevada (enrollment: 539) to the brink. She came back to win the district title as a singles player over teammate Audrey Neighmond. The following week, she won her sectional match 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 to advance to state.
Abby Taylor, Ozark, Senior
Abby Taylor has shown steady improvement throughout her time at Ozark. As a sophomore, Taylor played No. 4 singles as a sophomore. Last year as a junior, Taylor moved up to No. 2 for the Lady Tigers. She had a 12-10 overall singles record and a 5-10 overall doubles record. She is poised for her best season yet as a senior where she will be the top player for Ozark.
Evelyn VanDenBerg, Central, Senior
Central finished fourth as a team in Class 2 last year, and VanDenBerg was a big reason why. She was the No. 1 player for the Lady Bulldogs with an overall singles record of 12-7. She combined with teammate Madeleine Fulk to win the Springfield Invitational doubles title along with the district and sectional doubles championships. At state, the duo finished fourth overall.
Jadyn Wersinger, Kickapoo, Junior
Kickapoo is traditionally one of the area’s best tennis teams, and that won’t change this year. The Lady Chiefs will be led by junior Jadyn Wersinger who was the team’s No. 1 player last year. She posted an overall record of 16-5. One of her top finishes came at the Springfield Invitational where she finished third overall in singles.