Brandi Hagen/Albert Lea Tribune United South Central's Claire Christian returns a hit from her opponent Jessamy Jones during her first match at the state tennis tournament on Thursday.

Singles player competes at state

Published 10:48am Thursday, October 25, 2012

MINNEAPOLIS – In her first match of her first ever state tennis appearance at the Reed-Sweatt Family Tennis Center in Minneapolis, United South Central’s Claire Christian fell 6-2, 6-2 to her opponent, Jessamy Jones.

Christian, a junior and 24-4 in the regular season, wasn’t even close to worked up about the loss to Jones, an East Grand Forks senior, who was 32-0 in the regular season.

“I’m just excited to be here, it’s a great experience,” Christian said.

Jones, a defensive player, stayed consistent throughout the matches and waited for Christian to make an error which is what the Rebels’ head tennis coach Jill Bailey and Christian were anticipating.

“We talked and said you’ve got to be patient and look for an opportunity,” Bailey said.

Christian felt her approach was the strongest in the two sets and it was noticeable that as she became more comfortable she moved to the net more.

“I’m surprised that she doesn’t appear in the least bit nervous,” Bailey said. “Usually you have to fight those jitters so this is great.”

Christian will play again at noon following a doubles tournament.