Girls Tennis: McGee making strides on the court

Rising senior Sawyer McGee has made improving her backhand strokes a top priority as she gears up for her third varsity season with the Lady Hubs. (Photo by Marcy DeLille)

Rising senior working to improve backhand strokes

Developing a stronger forehand stroke led to more success on the court for Lady Hub tennis player Sawyer McGee. As the rising senior prepares for her third varsity season, she’ll be looking to turn her racket the other way and build up her backhand stroke.

McGee cracked the varsity doubles lineup her sophomore season before becoming a fixture in the doubles rotation during her junior season this past year. The former Fresh-Soph Most Improved Player and one-time Academic All-Conference Honorable Mention helped Rochelle secure two team wins in 2019, earning doubles points in both matches.

“I started playing at the level I knew I could toward the end of the season,” McGee said. “I have been taking a lot of backhand swings this summer to improve for the upcoming season. This team is always fun to be with on and off the court. We struggled at times to take home wins, but we never gave up and I’m really excited to meet all of the new girls this year. The tennis program is a great place to spent time and I’m hoping we can win more matches this year.”

Despite not taking up the sport until her sophomore year, McGee has quickly risen up to become an impact player on the varsity tennis team. Her first doubles victory came in 2018, when she and teammate Jordin Dickey worked together to help the Lady Hubs defeat Morris for their lone victory of the season. In preparation for her senior season, McGee said she’s been spending time with some older players and adjusting her mental approach to the game.

“I want to play to the best of my abilities while still having fun,” McGee said. “I tend to get in my head when I make mistakes and when that happens, more seem to follow. I’ve played with some older and wiser players recently and I’ve learned that enjoying my time playing tennis is more important than wins or losses… I struggled with tennis at first, but now I love it. I enjoy that I can come to practice and have fun with my teammates while growing as an athlete.”

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