For The Tribune
Sophomore Laken Reynolds was named the most valuable member of the Brownstown Central girls tennis team during an awards program conducted Thursday night in the school cafeteria.
Reynolds played the No. 1 singles position throughout the season and posted a record of 7-11.
“She had the most wins and she obviously plays the toughest competition at No. 1 singles,” coach Erik Stangland said. “She had a really good match against Brown County. She pulled that match out, and played a couple of other matches that she played three sets and put them away.
“Then, a few of her matches she struggled, but she kept it close for long enough that other people could see that they had a chance to win. That’s one of the reasons that really helped push her into the most valuable award.”
Freshman Claudia Sibrel got the mental attitude award, and junior Makenzie Bennett received the most improved plaque.
“The mental attitude award winner, Claudia, stayed positive and she has had a rough season,” Stangland said. “She had one win against Silver Creek, so that was a huge win. If you’re only going to have one win that’s probably the one you want to get.”
Sibrel played at No. 2 singles throughout the season.
“That’s a big accomplishment because she had to go from doubles to singles at the beginning of the year, and she was able to maintain that spot the whole year,” Stangland said.
This was the first year that Bennett has played tennis.
“She came out and had a great attitude, and works hard,” Stangland said. “She doesn’t think she is doing well enough and she always wants to achieve perfection. She has worked so hard and she has become a decent tennis player for someone that is in her first year of tennis.
“She keeps working, and it’s kind of fun to see someone get that much better that fast.”
Reynolds was named to the All-Mid-Southern Conference first team and Miranda McClusky was named honorable mention.
McClusky played No. 3 singles most of the season.
Stangland said at the end of the 2015 season he thought he would have a lot of experienced players returning, but several girls chose not to play this year.
That meant that these freshman and sophomores had to step into varsity roles, and three freshmen and four sophomores earned varsity letters this spring.
The only senior in the varsity lineup was Jordan Trowbridge.
“We had three freshmen and usually three sophomores in the lineup, and we had another sophomore that rotated in and out, so that is why they’ve all achieved letters this year,” Stangland said.
“To me, that’s a big accomplishment that they can all get their letters. Next year we’ve got some pretty decent talent coming in, and we can mesh it with this talent and we should have a lot of challenges pushing each other and be a much better team next year.
“This was the youngest team in the conference as far as experience. I see this team as s being something special. I look forward to next season.”
Stangland also introduced his assistant coach, Lacy Daulton.
He encouraged the returning players to play in tournaments and to take lessons during the summer.
The Braves finished sixth in the Mid-Southern with a record of 4-5, and were 6-11 overall.