After a comeback victory in heat reaching 103 degrees, Independent sophomore Anna Riedmiller was drenched in sweat as she celebrated her Collegiate Classic singles tournament victory in a fist bump to her coach, Simon Norman.
On paper, Riedmiller was supposed to lose to Kansas City (Mo.) Notre Dame senior Michaela Henne, who was dominant all afternoon with her powerful forehand. As temperatures continued to rise, Henne became fatigued and lost composure as her strokes became ineffective, barely reaching the net at times. Despite being down, Riedmiller remained calm, countering everything Henne sent her way and completing the comeback with an 8-2 victory.
“My legs started getting tired, but mentally I stayed focused and calm,” Riedmiller said with her hands on her knees, gasping for air. “It was really hot, but my shape will improve as the season progresses. For the most part I did well. I got a little sloppy at times, but I pulled it together and made it through my matches.”
After placing second at state in singles last season, Riedmiller said she dedicated her summer to refining her craft, by competing in U.S. Tennis Association tournaments.
Riedmiller was the lone champion from the Wichita area that saw unfamiliar competitors from the Kansas City area.
“It’s a good, strong tournament, especially for it being the first one of the year. Some of the girls from Kansas City are down here, so the depth of the singles is very good,” Norman said. “My players know they have two choices, either we’re going to work really hard or we’re going to get thumped. That’s their options.
“Anna is a really good player. She’s doing well. Henne on paper was supposed to win, but Anna is a fighter. Given the talent pool in high school tennis, 80 percent of the success you can attain is by sheer work ethic, and Anna has the natural talent and work ethic.”
Arkansas City’s Makenna Gonzales and Ally Burr defeated Collegiate’s doubles team of Jaya Montivani and Hannah Osland in the doubles championship.
Collegiate coach Dave Hawley said his team could have done better had they been playing longer together. This may be the first and last time this doubles team play together, as Hawley may switch their roles.
“It was a good opening experience for us, but team chemistry is vital. I have no doubt our kids could have done better, but none of our girls play doubles in the summer. Our concentration is the singles,” Hawley said.