Sleep and confidence help Women’s Tennis win sectional matches

By Jacob Grismer

Coach Keara Dever directs the Varsity Women’s Tennis team at the Tippecanoe Match in September. Senior Kirsten Thomas stands left while junior Maya Brink stands next to the coach. Tori Dreischarf is shown walking away to the right.

Bellbrook Women’s tennis team won the league and the first singles player junior Maya Brink won sectionals three consecutive years. What’s the secret to their success? Senior Kirsten Thomas, who played first doubles for sectionals this season, said the answer was simple: “I just wing it.” She added, “I usually take a nap before my matches.”

Both players agree not playing well comes down to overthinking and exhaustion.

Brink had more trouble describing the ingredients for her success. When an opponent is tough, “[I] change it up if it’s not working. That’s my only strategy,” Brink said. Another ingredient is likely her passion for the sport; she’s been playing since she was 8. “My dad actually put me in sports from the time I could walk and tennis was the first sport that I chose, and that was the reason I stuck with it, ’cause I actually liked it, instead of the sport he was choosing,” Brink said. 

After sectionals, Brink lost her qualifying match for the state match to an opponent from Mason who was, according to Brink, “Way, way up there.” Brink expressed her humility when teammate Thomas called her a “tennis god” by pointing out she lost 1-6, 0-6. “I miss a lot of balls, but I don’t usually get mad,” Brink said. “But I do get mad when I miss something I know I should be doing well on.”

Despite her easy-going nature, Thomas said she gets mad easily.

“I don’t have a lot of thoughts in my head when I play other than [explicit word],” she said.

In sectionals, Thomas and teammate Tori Dreischarf almost qualified for districts but fell short, losing in her final match to Springboro juniors Anna Bailey and Hannah Hurlburt. “We played well; I was happy how I played. Our score did not reflect how well I played. Don’t say that, that’s a lie. (laughs) I don’t remember, it was like 2-6 or 3-6 or something,” Thomas said.


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