Mental and physical growth helped South Whidbey junior Mary Zisette and sophomore Alison Papritz become of one the state’s best tennis doubles teams.
The Falcons finished second in the 1A state tournament last weekend.
“They are both talented players, but their success also comes from their hard work and coach-ability,” co-coach Jenny Gochanour said. “It has been a privilege working with them this season.”
Papritz said she was “so glad to have Mary as a partner.”
“She was always so supportive and kind, and she helped me to stay calm during our matches,” she added.
Zisette echoed those feelings: “I feel very lucky to have Alison as my partner. She is so consistent and fun to have by my side on the court. I think we are going to have a lot of success next year.”
Gochanour said, “Mary and Alison showed focus, grit, determination and a willingness to take risks during their tough matches in the postseason. They both worked hard on their mental games and on fine-tuning their understanding of doubles strategy along with working on consistency, power and placement in their shots.”
Papritz said that she was nervous heading into the state tournament but that “one thing we worked on throughout the season was staying relaxed.”
“We tried to breath deeply, loosen our shoulders and practice good self talk,” she added.
She also thanked her coaches for “being so positive, caring and lighthearted throughout the entire season.”
Gochanour, who shares the coaching duties with Bess Windecker-Nelson, noted that many people are responsible for the development of Zisette and Papritz.
“Both girls hit lots of tennis balls with their families, so they have spent lots of fun informal hours on the courts outside of team practices,” Gochanour said. “We had amazing volunteer coaches helping out this season as well, and they were key to the development of all of our players’ skills.”