With a year of playing the best players from the area — and beyond — under her belt, Seymour’s Hallie Crenshaw knew what to expect in her final year on the tennis team.
Returning at No. 1 singles, Crenshaw didn’t disappointing this spring.
Finishing with 17 victories and a fourth straight team sectional title, the Owls’ senior went out on top.
With all of her accomplishments this season, The Tribune has named Crensahw the 2017 Girls’ Tennis Player of the Year.
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While there were plenty of matches to celebrate, it was the first one that stands out the most to Crenshaw and her coach.
“The first one of the season against Jeffersonville,” Crenshaw said of her highlight match. “I thought that was the best I played all season.”
Owls coach Jennifer Miller agreed with Crenshaw and said she also excelled at the Shelbyville Invitational, where she finished as runner-up.
“The match that stands out the most is her comeback win against Jeffersonville to start the season,” Miller said. “They have a young player that is very athletic who plays with a lot of confidence. It was nice to see Hallie finish her third set strongly, and that set the tone for the season for her.
“She also played very well at the Shelbyville Invite, and while she may have lost against Columbus East and North’s No. 1s, she competed with both girls and they are definitely top players in our district. Hallie should be proud of her efforts in those matches.”
Crenshaw didn’t take much time away from the courts in the 2016-17 school year, which led to improvements across the board.
“Hallie came back stronger this season with more confidence,” Miller said. “She helped manage the boys in the fall and got a lot of experience hitting against a harder pace and making better selections on her shots. She was also able to make adjustments this year through the match when needed to find success.”
Facing the best player each week, Crenshaw was challenged in every match.
“It is a big accomplishment to have that many wins (17) at No. 1,” Miller said. “No. 1 singles puts you playing the best in the area, and that can be a lonely place to play if you are not having success. Hallie had a good competitive outlook each time she stepped onto the court, and it paid off for her during the season. Her losses were to some of the top players in the southern half of the state, and she has a lot to be proud of.”
The Owls finished third in the Hoosier Hills Conference tournament, behind Columbus East and champion New Albany, and Crenshaw was named All-HHC for singles. She also went on to be named All-District 8 first team in singles.
“I feel like my net game was really strong this year and my serves could be strong,” Crenshaw said. “I definitely improved in those places, and my placement was much better.”
Crenshaw said that winning a sectional each year of her career feels like a big accomplishment.
“It was great having won all four years,” Crenshaw said. “Not many people can say that. It really shows that the team as a whole is strong. It’s not just one individual player that brings the team home. It’s not an all-star sport. Everyone needs to work hard to achieve great things.”
Keeping her head in the classroom, Crenshaw also was named Academic All-State Honorable Mention.
“Overall, tennis was a great experience,” Crenshaw said. “It was a great ending to my career. Everyone just did a great job. We built so many great memories. I’m definitely going to miss the people. The girls I’ve gotten to know here are family. We’ve gotten so close and bonded.”
2017 Girls Tennis Player of the Year
Hallie Crenshaw, Seymour, Senior, No. 1 singles.
Other accolades: All-District 8 first team singles, All-Hoosier Hills Conference, Academic All-State honorable mention, 4x team sectional champion, Captain’s Award.
Joining Crenshaw on the All-County girls’ tennis team:
Laken Reynolds, Brownstown Central, junior, singles
Accomplishments: 2017 team Most Valuable Player, All-Mid-Southern Conference first team.
Carly Brown, Brownstown Central, freshman, singles
Accomplishments: All-MSC honorable mention.
Abby Schult, Trinity Lutheran, sophomore, singles
Accomplishments: 2017 team MVP.
Megan Baurle, Seymour, senior, singles
Accomplishments: 18 wins, 4x team sectional champion, Captain’s Award.
Kelli Armes, Seymour, senior, singles
Accomplishments: 14 wins, team sectional champion, Academic All-State honorable mention.
Addie Rudge, Seymour, senior, doubles
Accomplishments: 16 wins, 2017 team co-MVP, All-HHC doubles, All-District 8 first team doubles, Mental Attitude Award, Academic All-State honorable mention, team sectional champion.
Katie O’Mara, Seymour, senior, doubles
Accomplishments: 17 wins, 2017 team co-MVP, All-HHC doubles, All-District 8 first team doubles, team sectional champion, Academic All-State honorable mention.
Rachel Collett, Seymour, senior, doubles
Accomplishments: 15 wins, Academic All-State, Most Improved Award, team sectional champion.
Grace Otte, Seymour, junior, doubles
Accomplishments: 13 wins, team sectional champion.