In Brooke Schafstall’s first trip up to Muncie to compete in a tennis tournament at Ball State University last weekend, she had a pretty successful showing.
The bracket was set up in a round-robin style, and Schafstall would’ve had to play four matches, but one girl had knee issues and dropped out, so Schafstall only needed to play three matches to come out on top.
She won her first match 6-0, 6-1, but Schafstall wasn’t pleased with her performance.
“The first match was a little rocky,” the Seymour High School junior said. “My serves just weren’t there.”
But as the day went on, her play got better. In the second match, Schafstall blanked her opponent 6-0, 6-0.
“I did better,” she said. “My serves went in very well, and I played very well.”
In her third match, she knew she just had to win to claim the trophy for the tournament.
En route to another 6-0, 6-0 win, Schafstall dominated.
“I was on my A game then,” she said. “I played really well.”
She received a trophy for her performance in winning the 16U tournament at Ball State, and one of her teammates, freshman Addison Hunsley, was in attendance to cheer her on.
“It felt really good,” Schafstall said. “It was like a refresher because I hadn’t played matches since November. It was really nice. Made me feel really good to be able to go up there and win.”
The weekend’s results were a testament to the work Schafstall has been putting in over the offseason.
She practices at Tipton Lakes Athletic Club in Columbus on Wednesdays from 8 to 9:30 p.m., and then on Sunday, she has private lessons for an hour.
She tries to compete in these types of tournaments every one or two months, and there’s another one Feb. 18 at Ball State that Schafstall might compete in.
After spending last spring at No. 1 singles as a sophomore, the now junior has recognized different areas of her game that she wanted to improve before this season.
“It has helped a lot. It has opened my eyes to see how much hard work goes into playing a high school sport and playing in different matches,” she said. “I needed my serves to get better. I needed to get better at different shots. I have a wide range of shot selection. I just needed to fine-tune them.”
Schafstall was 15-5 last season and 4-2 in the Hoosier Hills Conference. Her 15-5 record was top three for most wins in a single season at one singles in Seymour history.
She also earned her all-HHC for singles, all-district for singles and all-state honorable mention for singles as the Owls as a team reached the regional championship.
Conditioning for this upcoming season will start the first week of February, and tryouts will take place around spring break.
Schafstall is fired up for the her junior season to start, and she’s working to stay as ready as possible for this spring.
“I’m really excited. I really can’t wait. I’m just like, ‘Let’s start the season. Let’s get conditioning going,’” she said. “Last year was really fun, so I’m really excited to play this year.”