Brownstown Central junior named girls tennis Player of the Year


Going into the 2019 season, Olivia Hackman knew she would have more responsibilities on and off the tennis courts at Brownstown Central High School.

She was expected to take over the No. 1 singles position, which was held by Laken Reynolds for four straight years, after playing No. 2 last year and lead the team as an upperclassman.

The junior rose to the occasion.

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Hackman posted a 15-7 overall record, including 7-2 in the Mid-Southern Conference, while helping the team advance to the Seymour Sectional semifinals.

“I knew that I wasn’t going to win every match, but I was going to try my absolute hardest,” Hackman said. “I tried to pull out a win for the team every time out.”

For all of her accomplishments this season, The Tribune has named Hackman the 2019 Jackson County Girls Tennis Player of the Year.

Braves coach Erik Stangland said he knew Hackman would have a big year in her junior season when she was a sophomore.

“I knew midway through last season. I saw a complete change in the player,” he said. “She went from doubles to singles. She was way more comfortable hitting the ball and made improvements from the middle to end of the season. She was challenging basically everyone that she was going to play this year.”

In the offseason, Hackman worked with coaches in Seymour and Columbus to improve her game.

“I knew that I needed to lead the team and that I was going to play harder opponents,” Hackman said. “I worked really hard outside of the season to prepare for No. 1.”

The Braves finished 12-7 overall. Stangland said it was the first time the Braves hit double-digits in wins in a long time.

Hackman said she started playing tennis as a sixth-grader and that 40 girls went out for the team in middle school. While many of the players didn’t move on to the high school team, Hackman couldn’t wait for the opportunity.

“Ever since I picked it up in middle school, I have loved it,” Hackman said. “I love getting stronger and hitting harder. I love hitting with the little kids at camp. I’ve always just loved the sport.”

When Hackman was the first one to come off the court, it boosted the team’s morale, Stangland said.

“The other girls would ask what her score was. When she’s leading, it’s a big deal for the rest of the team,” he said. “That’s something we’ve really needed. She goes out and gets the win.”

As the season winded down, Hackman felt she was playing her best tennis.

“By the end of the season, especially around sectional, I was hitting the ball a lot harder with more consistency,” she said. “I like to play the baseline more, but if it goes short, I will play the net.”

In the sectional, Hackman posted wins over No. 1 singles players from Scottsburg and Seymour, a major goal for both Hackman and Stangland.

“I was hoping she would be able to challenge Seymour at No. 1,” Stangland said. “There were some other matches she played really well which were a nice surprise. Playing the girl from Scottsburg was an especially nice match to see.”

Hackman played in the individual sectional but fell to Austin’s Jalen Coomer.

Hackman said she plans on continuing to work on her game this summer, including playing in more USTA tournaments. She said she looks forward to her final season, especially with her fellow senior teammates.

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2019 Jackson County Girls Tennis Player of the Year

Olivia Hackman, Brownstown Central, junior, singles

Record: 15-7 (7-2 MSC)

Honors: All-Mid-Southern Conference honorable mention, team MVP, qualified for individual sectional

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Joining Olivia Hackman on the 2019 All-Jackson County Girls Tennis Team:

Sandra Cerino, Seymour, senior, singles

Record/honor: 12-9, All-Hoosier Hills Conference

Peyton Levine, Seymour, junior, singles

Record/honor: 12-9, All-HHC honorable mention

Kirby Hill, Seymour, sophomore, singles

Record: 16-5

Kristina Griffin, Seymour, senior, doubles

Record: 14-7

Mallory Moore, Seymour, sophomore, doubles

Record: 14-7

Rachel Adkins, Brownstown Central, junior, doubles

Record/honor: 17-4 (9-0 MSC), All-Mid-Southern Conference

Carly Brown, Brownstown Central, junior, doubles

Record/honor: 17-4 (9-0 MSC), All-MSC

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Regan Cain, Trinity Lutheran, freshman, singles

Sarah Lemming, Trinity Lutheran, freshman, singles

Abby Schult, Trinity Lutheran, senior, singles

Lauren Fleetwood, Trinity Lutheran, senior, doubles

Cassidy Burnside, Trinity Lutheran, junior, doubles

Madalyn Baurle, Seymour, freshman, doubles

Avery Ragon, Seymour, sophomore, doubles


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