No pressure for defending state tennis champ Hitchcock

Alter's Grace Lampman (left) and Eaton's Macy Hitchcock. CONTRIBUTED
Caption
Alter's Grace Lampman (left) and Eaton's Macy Hitchcock. CONTRIBUTED

Eaton junior won Division II singles title last year

Macy Hitchcock is the player to beat in Division II singles play at the state tennis tournament, but the Eaton High School junior isn’t feeling the pressure.

“I definitely feel like there’s a target on my back, everyone is coming out swinging,” Hitchcock said. “But honestly, I think it’s easier this year for me because I’ve gotten the title, now I can relax more.”

Hitchcock claimed the D-II singles title last year and, as the 46th Annual OHSAA Girls Tennis State Tournament gets underway on Friday, she is a No. 1 seed after edging out friend and rival Alter senior Grace Lampman in a hard-fought three-set district final.

Hitchcock will have company at the Lindner Family Tennis Center as her younger sister Mallory and her partner Grace Murphy are a top-seeded Eagles doubles duo. And Lampman, who finished third last year, is a second seed in singles this season.

Lampman’s goal is simple, “place better than last year.” That only leaves two options.

Alter coach Charlie Painter is confident that his four-year first singles player has what it takes to do that.

“She’s more consistent and more aggressive than she was last year,” Painter said. “And she has also really matured as a leader.”

Lampman’s tenacity was on display at the district tournament when she was trailing 5-1 in the second set of her first-round match, fighting back to take the set in a tiebreaker – winning the match 6-4, 7-6 (7).

* Division I: Bellbrook sophomore Maya Brink is going the solo route this season. After qualifying to state last year with partner Nitika Arora, Brink is back in Mason – this time in the D-I singles draw.

“I feel like I’m more of a singles player,” Brink said.

The Golden Eagles sophomore singles player has put in the work since her last state appearance.

“I’m hitting harder, I’m more consistent and I’m really attacking the ball,” she said. “I want to get as far as I can.”

Centerville’s Clara Owen and Caroline Hinshaw are also no strangers to the state tournament as the Elks duo was runner-up last year in D-I doubles. Owen and Hinshaw earned a top seed with a first-place finish at the Southwest District tournament.

46th Annual OHSAA Girls Tennis State Tournament

When: October 22 and 23, play begins at 9 a.m. both days

Where: Lindner Family Tennis Center, Mason

Tickets: $12 student, $15 adult at www.ohsaa.org/tickets

Local first-round matches (seedings in parentheses):

Division I – (4) Maya Brink, Bellbrook, vs. (1) Tess Bucher, North Canton Hoover; (1) Clara Owen/Caroline Hinshaw, Centerville, vs. (6) Brooke McNeal/Madison Davila, Keniston.

Division II – (1) Macy Hitchcock, Eaton, vs. (5) Haley Slay, Archbishop Hoban; (2) Grace Lampman, Alter, vs. (3) Lorelei Huber, Ottawa Hills; (4) Shannon Brumbaugh/Taylor Falb, Milton-Union, vs. (1) Alexis Burkhalter/Katie Zerbi, Columbus Wellington School; (1) Grace Murphy/Mallory Hitchcock, Eaton, vs. (5) Anjail Jawa/Beatrice Hardacre, Gates Mills Hawken.

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