Trio heads to state


Courtesy of @TennisRedhawks

Last year, juniors Milla Dopson and Sanjheev Rao were the only two athletes representing the Redhawks at state. However, this year, the pair is joined by freshman Hailey Zhang.

Addy Schick, Sports Reporter

Three Redhawks are hitting the court one final time when they travel to the Texas A&M-George P. Mitchell Tennis Center on Tuesday and Wednesday for the UIL 5A state tournament.

Juniors Sanjheev Rao and Milla Dopson are playing mixed doubles while freshman Hailey Zhang is playing singles, after they all placed first in the 5A Region II Tournament.

“The regional tournament went really well and me and my partner placed first,” junior Milla Dopson said. “So to prepare for the state tournament, me and Sanjheev will be continuing to practice and work hard and also play practice matches against some other state qualifiers.”

According to Rao, being aggressive and working together with Dopson could lead to a win in this tournament.

“We have had one week between the regional tournament and the state tournament,” Rao said. “We’re still working on the same aggressive plays that we use in regionals and just working together well, to close out points quickly.

After winning the girls singles championship at regionals, Zhang feels confident in her abilities heading into state.

“After the regional match was over I felt really great and proud of myself for making it to state since I’m a freshman,” Zhang said. “I think it’ll be a really good opportunity and I’m really excited to play at state even though I know there’s going to be a lot of other good players too. I’ve been working on my movement and footwork and trying to set myself up better before each point.”

Weeks of practice since the fall have led the players to this tournament.

“The players have been working hard each week just trying to improve,” assistant coach Brandon Justice said. “The doubles are working on closing in and finishing points quickly, and for singles trying to play high percentage tennis”