Photos courtesy Brittany Thorpe, graphic by Skip Smith: Brittney Tipton, Claire Golding, Emily Frey, Katie Foster and Lynnlee Perry round out the Eatonville High School girls tennis team seniors. Coach Alex Christiansen said the girls were all driven athletes and students.
Photos courtesy Brittany Thorpe, graphic by Skip Smith: Brittney Tipton, Claire Golding, Emily Frey, Katie Foster and Lynnlee Perry round out the Eatonville High School girls tennis team seniors. Coach Alex Christiansen said the girls were all driven athletes and students.

This is the fourth installment in a series of columns where I will be spotlighting the Eatonville High School spring sports seniors who have had their seasons cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A different team will be the focus each week. This is just my way of honoring these amazing student athletes since they can’t be out there playing the sports they love, and I can’t be out their watching and reporting on them. – Skip Smith

This week the spotlight will be on the seniors from the Eatonville High School girls tennis team, Brittney Tipton, Claire Golding, Emily Frey, Katie Foster and Lynnlee Perry.

I asked coach Alex Christiansen to say a few words about each one of his senior players.

Brittney Tipton

Brittney was a first-year varsity player last year, where she played third doubles and improved tremendously by the end of the year. She was in line to play first doubles this year as a senior. A talented server and net player, she was also one of our most competitive players. She would routinely win our team competitions during practice. To add onto this, she would frequently play her best tennis when faced with top competition. She was someone who wouldn't shy from challenges. Her patented shot was her forehand downline. She won many points sneaking this shot down the alley of her opponents.

Claire Golding

Claire was another first-year varsity player last year, where she played second doubles with Emily. She was going to play first doubles with Brittney this year. She was a thoughtful player who worked well with any partner. In addition, she was a hard worker who pushed herself and her coaches to improve her game, using every practice to try to get better. She was also one of our most conscientious players. She treated everyone, from her coaches to her varsity peers to the freshmen rookies to her playing opponents, with deep kindness and respect. 

Emily Frey

Emily was also a first-year varsity player last year, where she played second doubles. This year she was going to play singles for us, which she worked hard to prepare for during the off season. She took private lessons and practiced throughout the winter to ready herself for this opportunity. She was a fiery competitor who demanded a lot of herself, both on the court and off the court. However, she was also a great teammate who would always help our young players learn the game. 

Katie Foster

Katie was a three-year varsity player for us, coming into her senior year. She played doubles her first two years, and she played singles last year and was going to play singles again this year. One of our most consistent players, she was primed for a tremendous senior season. Katie won a lot of matches for us the past three years, earning a winning record all three years as a varsity player. She also received an honorable mention nod from the league last season. This success was due in part by her incredible grit and toughness. Katie would routinely play in our longest matches, refusing to give up even after dropping a first set or nursing an injury. 

Lynnlee Perry

Lynnlee played junior varsity for us last year, and it was her first year playing tennis. She was an outstanding teammate. All the players loved Lynnlee because she was an incredibly supportive and fun teammate.

Christiansen said he was really looking forward to what he expected to be a great season.

“Obviously, I am heartbroken for our players that our season was suspended,” he said. “This was shaping up to be a fun season because this was such a great group of kids to work with. More than being solid tennis players, these girls are just tremendous people. They care for each other. They care for this community. In addition, this varsity group was also talented in the classroom. They were all top students at our school, challenging themselves with high-level classes. This is a group of kids that our community should be proud of. Again, I am sad about the outcome of this year, but I couldn't be prouder of a group of kids.”