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Hanford Serves Up State Placement
By Anthony Waters, Staff Writer
 
One of West Geauga’s most successful programs this fall was the girls tennis team. They finished with an overall 12-2 record, 3-2 in the CVC, good for second place in the conference.

A good reason for this success could be attributed to the fact that there were 6 seniors on the team this past year: Mackenzie Hanford (4th year varsity), Rachel Ange (4th year), Lauren Ralph (2nd year), Anna Cianci (2nd year), Arden Frankmann (2nd year) and Rosie Thomas.

This season also contained a first in the history of the program: a participant in the state tournament ! Freshman Rylie Hanford not only qualified to the state tournament but also became West G’s first place winner, as she finished 3rd in the state.  Head coach, Mr. Joe DeMattia, spoke on the team’s effort this season “I was very happy with the girls’ efforts this season.  We came to every match ready to play and were in every match.” Coach “D” said the girls performed at a high level of intensity and had fun while playing.  “Each player on the team had an impact on the team and on me”. He invited everyone to come up to watch the girls next season at the tennis courts behind the school!

While the season proved successful at the team level, a state tournament trip for an athlete always deserves recognition. Rylie Hanford becomes the first lady Wolverine to qualify to a state tennis tournament. She said, “When I played at states I was representing my school and I have never done anything like that before.” Rylie made it all the way to the state semi-finals before she lost a match.

Finishing 3rd in the state, Rylie ended her freshman season with a 25-1 record. Coach DeMattia spoke on the experience of taking a player to state. “There were not many times during the season where Rylie was really challenged, so to get to see her play against higher competition, and still dominate most of the people she played, was pretty cool.” A veteran performer on the amateur club tennis scene, Rylie said that the state tournament was, “…a little pressuring, but I still had a lot of fun.”

Rylie said her ultimate goal is that she wants to play Division I tennis and receive a scholarship to college. Finishing 3rd in the state with a 25 – 1 record is probably a pretty good place to start that journey.

Congratulations to Rylie and we will be watching the rest of her high school tennis career!   See more at:  https://wgwhirlwind.org/1378/showcase/hanford-serves-up-state-placement/
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