1. Sarah Lyras

1. Sarah Lyras
Cardinal Mooney
Our tennis athlete of the season was no stranger to the courts at the state tournament. In fact, she was probably on a first-name basis with many of the officials. Sarah Lyras of Cardinal Mooney High was a rarity -- qualifying for the state tournament all four years she represented the Cardinals. As a senior, she didn't advance as far as she probably would have liked, losing in the second round, but, considering all the athletes who began the season with the goal of reaching Columbus, who would complain about being among the top eight players in the state? Lyras' strengths -- a strong shot and knowing how and where to place the ball -- were big reasons for her remarkable record and consistency. So too was her ability to dominate opponents who couldn't match her skill level, and to take those foes who were perhaps a little more advanced down to the wire.
X Grade: Senior.
X Positive influence: "My teammates and coaches because they were always there to believe in me. Also my family who always made me feel like I was number one to them."
X Memory from the season: "Making it to state, and spending time with my teammates."
X Future plans: "I plan to go to college and continue playing tennis. I want to be a dietitian/nutritionist and have a family one day."
2. Stephanie Berry
X Grade: Junior
X Positive influence: "My coaches, Susan Cianciola and Jeff Hammerton, are my positive influences."
X Memory from the season: "Placing third at state."
X Future plans: "I am definitely going to attend college and some day, I want to become a pilot."
3. Gina Peretti
X Grade: Junior.
X Positive influence: "My parents because they are always supporting me and pushing me to go one step further. Also, my coaches, Jeff [Hammerton] and Susan [Cianciola]. Without them, I would have never gotten as far as I have in tennis. Finally, Steve Berry because ice water runs through his veins."
X Memory from the season: "Taking third at state was my best memory from the season. Steph and I had a lot of fun and it was a great experience."
X Future plans: "I plan to attend college and play tennis. I am undecided on what I want to be, but I am leaning towards fields such as accounting, pharmacology or education."
4. Ashley Kelly
West Branch
X Grade: Sophomore.
X Positive influence: "I don't think it would be possible to name just one person who has been an influence in my athletic career because so many people have been involved with it, ranging from my mother, grandparents, my very first instructor [Emily Ann Vandershuys] to my current instructor, Joe, and my coach, Mrs. Bonar.
X Memory from the season: "Winning sectionals because that was only the second time my partner and I had played together and we came in first place."
X Future plans: "For the immediate future, I hope to continue growing and becoming a better tennis player. For long range, I hope to excel enough to become a great asset for a college team."
5. Katharina Martin
West Branch
X Grade: Senior.
X Positive influence:"Ashley Kelly. She is a great player, doubles partner and friend, and I enjoyed making all these experiences while going to state with her. Coach Bonar was always very helpful during the games and helped me especially mentally."
X Memory from the season: "I enjoyed all the doubles [matches] I played with Ashley during the sectional, district and state tournaments. The matches against other schools also were great because the whole team is so great and supportive and fun. Also, the support of our school was great when we went to Columbus. Ashley and I really enjoyed the sendoff they had for us."
X Future plans: "I'm an exchange student from Germany, so after this school year, I'll go back and finish school there. But I definitely want to still play tennis. After school, I plan going to college, but I don't know yet if in Germany or the USA. Fact is, tennis will always play a part in my life."

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