Harkin goes undefeated, places third at state

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Harkin goes undefeated, places third at state

Hannah Loub

Hannah Loub

Hannah Loub

Madison Ritz, Blue M Student Life Editor

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Serving the ball over the net and hoping for the best, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity was awarded to freshman Jillian Harkin, who was undefeated in her tennis tournaments all season. 

Harkin scored 32-0 during the whole season until she scored third at the state tournament. 

“I was so excited,” Harkin said. “I had people always asking me ‘are you disappointed with third because you’ve never lost before?’ but I was just really excited.”

Harkin’s passion for tennis began when was just four years old, which is when her dream of becoming a star tennis player began to grow.

“This year I think my favorite aspect of tennis was having a team that was really supportive,” Harkin said. “I’ve always just done it by myself or with my family, so it’s really fun being on the team.”

Throughout the season, Harkin played one singles on the court. This was her position on the team overall — with a team of six players. Harkin looked up to her role models like seniors Kira Schartz and Joanna Park, who played one doubles on her team.

“I think Kira and Joanna and [senior] Kate [McGee] are definitely my tennis role models,” Harkin said. “They’ve been on the team for such a long time, and they really know the expectations of what a great teammate and team players should look like. They were all definitely role models to me this year.” 

Harkin also didn’t lose any matches in her middle school tennis years as well. Harkin continued to bring her uplifting confidence to high school tennis and won herself a very close to perfect undefeated season.

To continue her successful path, Harkin wants to continue playing tennis into professional tennis teams in colleges. Her goal is to play in D1 in college once she graduates high school. Harkin wants to play at colleges like UCLA or Stanford but to her, that’s a really big goal. She also thought Arizona or Oklahoma State Universities would also fit her type of college. 

“If you’re thinking about trying out for tennis, just try out,” Harkin said. “You can have fun with it or if you want to be competitive, then it’s a really fun place. Just work hard a lot, it takes confidence to believe in yourself that you can do anything you put your mind to. Being undefeated was my goal. Up until state, I thought of having a goal, and working for it really helped me get where I was.”

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