When Collegiate’s Brooke Withrow spent her eighth and ninth grade tennis seasons at the Chris Evert Tennis Academy in Boca Raton, Fla., her focus was firmly on the sport and developing all facets of her game.
Withrow missed Collegiate, the school she had attended since before kindergarten, so she returned midway through her freshman school year. And what she discovered the following tennis season was how much she loved being part of a team.
“Tennis is such an individual sport, but once I had a team, it made it so much easier and so much more fun,” said Withrow, a senior who has made an oral commitment to Oklahoma.
Sunday she helped Collegiate win the Class 3-2-1A team title at Pratt’s Walter Blake Complex by winning her third straight singles title. Withrow, whose two previous titles were in Class 4A, beat Independent’s Anna Riedmiller 6-2, 6-1.
Collegiate, which won its sixth consecutive team title, also won the doubles title when the team of Hannah Osland and Allie Lindwall beat Independent’s Jessica Kieu and Cody Davis.
Independent finished second as a team, while Conway Springs was third after its doubles team of Juli Ann Wright and Brittany Pauly finished third with a win over Collegiate’s Emily Ramsey and Kara Maloney.
The 3-2-1A tournament was postponed to Saturday and Sunday because of poor weather on Friday.
“Finding our second doubles team has been kind of a season-long mission,” Collegiate coach Dave Hawley said of Ramsey and Maloney. “The two girls that came here have just played phenomenal tennis, remarkable tennis. The reason we won the title is because of them getting to the semifinals.”
The team and doubles title was special for Lindwall, a sophomore who was not part of Collegiate’s postseason team. She knew all season, though, that she wanted to partner with Osland, a sophomore who won the doubles title in 2012.
“I felt like we play so well together,” Lindwall said. “She’s really consistent and really good at ground strokes and keeping the rallies, and coming in and executing. I’m more aggressive and I put away things. She sets it up and I finish it, I think.”
Osland and Lindwall cruised to the title, only giving up a game when Osland chased down a lob and the ball grazed her back. Lindwall dominated at the net, getting point after point with her ability to find the gaps or push it past the Independent players.
“She’s gotten so much more aggressive,” Osland said of Lindwall. “ She’s destroying things.”
Withrow didn’t have much trouble advancing to the single finals with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Conway Springs’ Heather Koester. But then Withrow had to wait for the other semifinal of Kansas City Christian’s Sara Goodwin and Riedmiller to finish.
Goodwin, the two-time defending 3-2-1A singles champ, won the first set against Riedmiller. But it was Riedmiller who took the three-hour set with the 5-7, 6-2, 6-2 win.
“She had a chance in the first set to win, and it got away from her,” Independent coach Simon Norman said. “I felt like for a freshman to put that back behind her and battle back and work her way back into it, she had a pretty good head on her shoulders. That’s Anna, she’s feisty.”
Riedmiller, who had an hour break before the final match, quickly took a 1-0 lead on Withrow and then held serve tied at 2-all.
Withrow admittedly was tight at the match’s start, and she felt the pressure of finishing her career with a state title in all three years.
She won the next four games of that set and opened the second set with a 5-0 lead.
“I was pretty nervous, but I was hitting the ball back and keeping it in,” Withrow said. “She gave me a match. She’s a good player. She’s only a freshman, so she has a lot of victories ahead of her.”
1. Collegiate 57, 2. Independent 39, 3. Conway Springs 33, 4. Sabetha 16, 5. KC Christian 14, 6. Central Plains 13, 7. (tie) Hoisington, Ellinwood, Marysville 11, 10. Hillsboro 10, 11. Sterling 8, 12. (tie) Haven, Ellsworth 6, 14. KC Maranatha 5, 15. Beloit 4, 16. (tie) Meade, Minneola, Norton 2, 19. (tie) Wabaunsee, Chaparral 1.
First —Brooke Withrow, Collegiate dec. Anna Riedmiller, Independent 6-2, 6-1. Third — Sara Goodwin, KC Christian dec. Heather Koester, Conway Springs 6-0, 6-0. Fifth — Besa Bwalya, Hoisington dec. Allison Weber, Hillsboro 9-6. Seventh — Jaya Mantovani, Collegiate dec. Madison Thrasher, Sterling 9-4. Ninth — Cara Anderson, Independent dec. Rachel Herzog, Ellsworth 9-4. Eleventh — Megan Bowlin, KC Maranatha dec. Lexi Wenger, Sabetha 9-4.
Withrow, Collegiate dec. Koester, Conway Springs 6-0, 6-0; Riedmiller, Independent, dec. Goodwin, KC Christian 5-7, 6-3, 6-2.
First — Allie Lindwall-Hannah Osland, Collegiate dec. Jessica Kieu-Cody Davis, Independent 6-0, 6-1. Third — Brittany Pauly-Juli Ann Winter, Conway Springs dec. Kara Maloney-Emily Ramsey, Collegiate 6-7 (7-2), 6-2, 6-2. Fifth — Amy Wysong-Ellie Montgomery, Sabetha dec. Jenae Harmer-Lauren Hawkinson, Marysville 9-1. Seventh — Rachel Doll-Danae Patten, Ellinwood dec. Karli Beck-Breanna Schartz, Central Plains 9-5. Ninth — Kiana Finstad-Kalie Jones, Conway Springs dec. Sam Stallbaumer-Mary Wagler, Haven 9-7. Eleventh — Keeley Hipp-Janae Ryan, Central Plains dec. Emily Brandt-Kellin Palmateer, Beloit 9-1.
Kieu-Davis, Independent dec. Maloney-Ramsey, Collegiate 6-3, 6-1; Lindwall-Osland, Collegiate dec. Pauly-Winter, Conway Springs 6-0, 6-1.