KCC hosts State for girls tennis at Harmon Park, Vialle finishes fourth


The girls tennis team competed at Harmon Park on Friday and Saturday, where Kansas City Christian hosted State tennis. Head coach Brian Miller and assistant coach Anne Stringfield led the team to state during their first year of coaching.

“They were prepared,” Miller said. “They reached their goals. They knew what I expected of them. Our new players determine the future, and double teams are all about chemistry.”

Freshman Emma Wheeler, sophomores Ryan Jantsch, Sophie Hill and Anna Vialle, along with juniors Callie Eldred and Alexis Termini, all qualified at Regionals at Harmon Park on Oct. 9. Every player on the team qualified; something that has never happened before.

“We got all six girls to state,” Miller said. “Regionals was just a by-product of state.”

The girls began practice by jogging to Harmon Park every day after school for their warm-up. They worked hard at practice to prepare themselves for State, including sophomore Anna Vialle, seated number one on the team.

“I actually made an overhead that was two inches from going out,” Vialle said. “It was the seventeenth point in that rally, and the overhead won me the point.”

Vialle took fourth in the tournament this year, three places higher than last year’s finish. She won her first match easily.

“My strokes have improved,” Vialle said. “I can use the skills I’ve developed this year to better my game.”

Juniors Callie Eldred and Alexis Termini competed in doubles Friday and Saturday, taking 12th in the tournament.

“Our energy was high on Friday,” Eldred said. “We were able to smash the ball back when they lobbed it over. We won 6-2 and 6-0.”

Friday was a better day for Eldred and Termini than Saturday.

“Callie and I played amazing together on Friday,” Termini said. “Callie’s really great at the net, and I am good at groundstrokes. We put it together and won. We almost beat the second team – it was five to seven, but they went on to win second.”

This is Eldred and Termini’s first year playing doubles together.

“Last year it was scary because I was new,” Termini said. “It was good having Callie as a partner this year, and I can’t wait to compete with her next year. We are so compatible.”

Miller emphasizes the importance of mental focus.

“Keeping the girls focused is hard,” Miller said. “The desire to win takes a heck of a lot of effort. They have to understand they have to put in the extra time to win.”

Many of the girls appreciate the dedication of Miller as a coach.

“Mr. Miller has experience and has been in our position before,” Vialle said. “He knows what we are going through and how he can help us.”

Eldred and Termini, who bring humor to the practices, have bonded with Miller.

“He’s a very qualified coach,” Eldred said. “He brings an aspect of unity and focus.”