Aced It: Freshman tennis player wins second at state, named to 4A All-State Team


Stella Cahalan

Watching for her opponents serve, freshman Breanna Quigley prepares to return the tennis ball back over the net. The match took place on Oct. 5 at the EKL tournament where Quigley finished in fourth place.

Alena Gillespie, Features Editor

Five years ago, freshman Breanna Quigley started playing tennis after deciding to leave all of the other sports she was playing at the time. This year, she placed second in singles at state and was named to the 4A All-State Team. 

Quigley competes at Overland Park Racquet Club when not playing for school. At the beginning of the season, Quigley knew she had a chance of qualifying for state based on her competition at her club. 

“I kind of thought I had a good chance of going,” Quigley said. “It was just a little bit easier to make it than I thought.” 

Quigley went into her state match with a positive mindset. 

“I was a little bit nerve-wracking because I’ve never experienced it before,” Quigley said. “I just expected myself to try even if it’s someone who I don’t think I’ll be able to beat.”

Head tennis coach Andrew Groene said he admires Quigley’s calmness on the court. 

“Her focus and composure as a freshman was impressive,” Groene said. “She very rarely would show a lot of emotion and usually tennis players are head cases and can go a little crazy.” 

Fourteen years ago, Maureen Rielley placed as high as Quigley at state, which was the last time a member of the girls team took second. 

“As a freshman, I think that’s a very good positive thing,” Groene said. “I think for the team it helps them see that it is possible and you can get there.”

About a week after Quigley competed in state, she received the news that she was named to the 4A All-State Team. 

“I feel pretty special to be on it,” Quigley said. “I figured it out during math class with Mr. Groene. He told the whole class.”

Groene said he is proud of Quigley and her accomplishment. 

“I think it’s really exciting,” Groene said. “She definitely should be part of the All-State Team. Even in all classes, I think she’d have an opportunity to be up there in consideration.”

During Quigley’s matches, she wears two bracelets that have brought her good luck. 

“I was not doing good in some tournaments and I started wearing [the bracelets] and all of a sudden, I just started winning,” Quigley said.

Leaving his previous position as athletic director, Groene said he was glad to return to coaching tennis. Quigley looked for Groene’s words as she competed. 

“He always has something different to say every day,” Quigley said. “He makes it more interesting, not just boring.”

Being the only freshman on the varsity team, Quigley said the team welcomed her, especially junior Lauren Myers.

“It was hard at first, but they were all very nice,” Quigley said. “They didn’t treat me as if I was younger. They just treated me like I was their age. They made it better for me.”