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Posted Sunday, Apr. 28, 2013 Share Share

Carroll tennis player returns to state tournament


Life has been tough for Southlake Carroll tennis player Kelley Anderson the past two years.

Twice she qualified for the UIL Class 5A state tennis tournament, only to have unforeseen circumstances derail title hopes.


More information UIL state tennis qualifiers Monday-Tuesday, Austin and College Station 5A Boys doubles: Eshan Dave and Collin Alexander, Southlake Carroll Girls singles: Kelley Anderson, Southlake Carroll Girls doubles: Brittaney McCasin and Meredith Hope, Southlake Carroll 4A Boys singles: Zan Rive, Fort Worth Arlington Heights Boys doubles: Ryan Howell and Rob Raines, Aledo Girls singles: Domonique Garley, Saginaw Girls doubles: Kate Bramlett and Elizabeth Morton, Granbury 2A Boys singles: Dalton Boles, Brock Boys doubles: Tyler Davis and Caleb Guyon, Brock Girls doubles: Breanna Hunt and Callie Mantooth, Godley

Add two years of personal strife, which included the death of her brother, Aaron Anderson, in a car accident, and it’s easy to see how Kelley’s third trip to Austin would be an emotional struggle. Many friends at Carroll never see Anderson’s struggles.

“They don’t all know the story of everything, so they don’t quite understand and since this is a different sport it’s harder to understand,” Anderson said.

However, a brave fight in this, her junior year, has Anderson in a much better place as a player and a person, earning her another shot at a state title in a tournament where everything seems to go wrong.

Up a set in the 2011 singles final, a shoulder injury resulted in a silver medal.

“After the first set, my arm pretty much gave out and it was hard to serve,” Anderson said. “It all went downhill from there because I couldn’t feel my arm pretty much.”

The following season, just months after her brother’s death, Anderson qualified for state in mixed doubles. In the semifinals, a ball flicked away by her partner after a point struck a player on an adjacent court. The duo was automatically disqualifed.

“It’s a freak deal,” Carroll coach Corey Aldridge said. “You can’t hit a ball after a point is over and if it hits anyone it’s an automatic DQ. It’s a cruddy rule, but it’s in the rule books.”

“It was a freak accident,” Anderson echoed.

For 2013, Anderson and the boys and girls doubles teams from Carroll have qualified for Austin. Carroll carries a tradition of winning with its name.

It is no secret that the Dragons carry the burden of the expectation of success on their shoulders. Anderson said she’s aware of the pressure.

“It’s going to be a lot more fun because everyone is going to do well and we’ll be able to support each other through the tournament and have a lot of people cheering for us,” Anderson said. “It’ll be a big motivation to have them there watching and to cheer them on, too.”

The high expectation comes with an overwhelming hope from those close to Anderson that she will go through a state tournament without another obstacle beyond her control allowing her talent to decide the outcome.

And a gold medal would fit in nicely with the silver and bronze she has already earned.

“Kelley’s been through a lot. To see something like this happen would be unbelievable for her,” Aldridge said. “’I’m extremely proud of her. I’m extremely proud of all my kids, but especially Kelley.”

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