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Winfield junior dominating on tennis courts

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By Nick Brockman

Putnam Review

With a cool head and steady hand, Winfield girls tennis player Brittany Gray has successfully dispatched each of her opponents this regular season.

Gray, a junior, heads into regional play this week at Logan High School with her Generals teammates. To start the season, Gray has won 104 straight games in her singles matches.

“She’s consistent, obviously,” Winfield girls tennis coach Julie Anderson said of Gray. “She’s not given up any games yet this season. She’s a good team player.

“She has great attitude. Anything you ask her to do, she’ll do it. She’s good on her feet. She can run down any ball. She’s just a great, all-around player. She’s steady, she’s consistent.”

In playing consistently, Gray, who started playing tennis as a sixth-grader, relies on focus and mental toughness.

“I think that I stay calm most of the time and I don’t let my opponent get in my head,” Gray said. “I play point by point.”

Focus and composure list among Gray’s top attributes and play an equally vital role in her success as any serve or volley, Anderson said.

“Attitude and she stays calm,” Anderson said of Gray’s most notable tennis traits. “She just plays point by point. She doesn’t get rattled.”

Gray, the team’s No. 4 singles player, displayed great talent in seasons past, too, Anderson said, but preseason preparation proved valuable in her improvement this year.

“She’s always played consistently, but this year she practiced in the offseason and then just came out strong,” Anderson said. “She got better strokes. She worked on her strokes and her understanding of the game.”

In addition to practicing with teammates, Gray said she improved her offseason conditioning by adding running to her training regimen.

The combination of individual and team success translated to an enjoyable season thus far, Gray said.

“It’s been really great,” she said. “I wasn’t expecting that at all. I’m glad with how it ended up.”

With Gray among the returners for next year, further success looks within reach for Winfield, too.

“We should have a good team next year as well,” Anderson said.

But first, Gray and the Generals will look to close this season as state champions.

“I would like to win states,” Gray said. “We haven’t played everyone we’re going to see at states, but I’m hopeful.”

The tennis state championships will be held May 11-13.


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