Owls senior wrapping up tennis career

Chloe Bryden ran cross-country in middle school, but she also wanted to try a different sport.

“I decided to try tennis just to try it, and have something different and I’ve just really liked it,” Bryden said. “It’s a sport I can play throughout my whole life, which is nice,” she said. “I can stay active and be fit.”

Bryden has played tennis since the seventh grade, and is wrapping her fourth and final year with the Owls’ high school team.

“I played doubles my freshman year but after that I’ve played singles,” Bryden said. “I prefer singles because I feel more aggressive, but also if I make a mistake I’m not letting another person down, or vice-versa.”

Bryden is right-handed, and she likes hitting her backhand.

“I’m able to hit a little bit more spin with power on it, and I feel more secure in my placement with it,” Bryden said. “I feel I’m able to hit my best shots with my backhand, and it just helps me win points.

“I like to play more baseline. I’ve been charging the net a little bit more, but I feel comfortable and aggressive at the baseline.”

On the court, Bryden also has confidence in her serve.

“I’ve really gotten my form down pretty solid this year and I’ve been able to get a lot of my first serves in,” Bryden said. “I try to place it more toward the middle because a lot of people hit corners.

“So if I do hit middle they’re not always expecting it. But then I like to switch it up occasionally and hit it into the corner just to keep them on their toes.”

She feels the Owls have an advantage against their opponents at home matches.

“I love home matches,” Bryden said. “I feel more of a team atmosphere because you have a lot more support from your parents and other teammates, and a lot of the middle schoolers come and watch, too. It’s always fun because the whole team is able to go, and then usually we try go out to eat afterwards as a team. That is just a fun bonding experience.”

Her favorite away courts are Brown County, and said she enjoyed playing at the Shelbyville Tournament.

“Practice is extremely important because if there is something I notice that I’m doing bad in a match, I’m able to tell my coach and my dad, too,” Bryden said. “He comes and works with me on weekends sometimes. Then I can really practice that skill over and over during practice, and that helps me nail that shot for the next match.”

She said you have to have a good attitude in all sports.

Jan Fenton is in her first season coaching the SHS girls.

“We do the some of the same drills, but then some are different,” Bryden said. “I think it’s a lot of good repetition. We do one drill over four courts, and then we’ll be rotating throughout the four courts so we’ll experience different hitting, which is beneficial to all of us.

“(Fenton) talks to us a lot before every match. We have some things to look for. Before every match we have a word of the day, like ‘be aggressive,’ ‘be present,’ ‘be ready.’ Those are some things I have really enjoyed about her coaching.”

Bryden has enjoyed attending SHS.

“I enjoy all my classes,” Bryden said. “I’ve had some great teachers, some great classes that I’ve really enjoyed the material and topics of. I’ve had a very positive experience at SHS.

“I’ll remember the team atmosphere and the going out to eat, the tournament environment, and all my teachers and specific traits about them.”

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Name: Chloe Bryden

School: Seymour High School

Parents: Bill and Lois Bryden

Sports: tennis 4 years

Organizations: National Honor Society, band, musical pit orchestra, D.A.R.E. Role Model, 4H, church youth group

Plans after high school: attend Purdue University, study biochemistry

Favorite food: salad

Favorite TV show: Project Runway

Favorite singer: Dierks Bentley

Favorite movie: Harry Potter

Favorite athlete: Serena Williams