Congratulations to Kade for getting 1st place at the Orange Ball 10U boys in Hot Springs Village!! We are really proud of you! You improved so much! This trophy is the first of many! #OTA #usta #tennis
Congratulations Brooke Killingsworth for getting second place at the National Level 2 in Rome, GA. With this tournament she reached #2 in the South & #75 in the Nation in 16s. All hard work pays off! OTA is very proud of you! Keep it up!
Finally a rain free, for the most part, Polar Bear Southern Level 3. We had some great results! Hayden got 1st in Boys 18’s singles and doubles and Darby got 3rd in Singles and 2nd in Doubles in Girls 12’s. All of our players that went had some good wins and valuable learning experiences! They will all continue to work hard as tournament season really starts to pick up! We are proud of all of you!
OTA players have recently traveled to Chattanooga, Memphis, and Little Rock…
(Coach Matias talking to Brooke in Chattanooga)
(Darby and Brooke in Memphis)
(Karl, Stella, and Coach Matias at Spring Swing)
(Mamen watching Hayden in Little Rock)
(Santi Halle & Zac Curtis with Coaches Matias & Beau at Spring Swing)
It was a great end to 2016:
Hayden Shoemake was the 7A west singles runner up, and placed 4th at State!
Emma Baker placed 4th at the 7A west Conference tournament and won her first round at State!
Taylor Cheung-Damonte was the 7A west Conference doubles Championship, the 7A State doubles Champion, and the Arkansas Overall Doubles Champion!
Brooke Killingsworth was the 7A West Singles Champion, the 7A Singles Champion, and the Arkansas overall Singles Champion! She was also named the Wendy’s Arkansas Player of the Year, Along with being named Tennis Player of the Year by the Arkansas Athletics Association.
(Brooke pictured Left)
Brooke was named the Arkansas Democrat Gazette Singles Player of the Year. Taylor was also named the Arkansas the Arkansas Democrat Gazette Doubles Player of the Year!
Congrats guys on an AWESOME year!!!
It’s almost a month old, so what a perfect time to welcome in 2016!! But first, good-bye to 2015:
It was a great year, from Jack Vaughan winning the OTA tournament…
To welcoming Coach Matias (pictured giving Coach Kristina some words of coaching wisdom) to the OTA family…
To Haeleigh making the Qualifier finals…
To a phenomenal summer…
To the moving on of our two senior leaders, Mallory and Haeleigh…
To a sad, but not unexpected, good-bye to Coach Jake…
To a triumph at state for Taylor, who won the 7A doubles title…
To the beginning of off-season training, and a whole new CrossFit crew…
It was so good, Darby couldn’t bear to hear it was over…
Yes, it was an excellent year — and 2016 is already looking good! There is an excitement amongst our coaches, as we see a motivation and effort coming from our players that can only lead to good things, on and off the court. And this is not only from our older groups, but our younger ones as well. From Anklebiters to Orange Crush to Black, it’s been a fantastic winter so far!
As we move into the year, much of the excitement stems from our coaching news. As most of you know, we added two former OTA players to the staff, Matt Tabler and Caleb “C Mac” McReynolds, and they are already doing a phenomenal job. Matt has the little guys wrapped around his finger (maybe they mistake him for a teddy bear because of the beard?), and C Mac has already put a stamp on our fitness program. We are so happy to have both of them!
Coach Jared has also had a busy last year, with a rough start to 2015 transitioning to a year that saw him acquire 2 fitness certifications, serve a 3rd year on the Southern Section Coaches Commission, work as a Team USA sectional coach, coach two major team events (as a Southerns coach for 14’s Zonals and as the Arkansas coach for 12’s Southern Cup), and be one of only 2 Arkansas pros invited to attend the Southern Tournament Director’s workshop. 2016 has already been productive as well, as he was accepted into the USTA High Performance Coaching Program, where he spent a week training at the USTA National Training Center in Boca Raton. All of the information he gathers is then funneled down to the rest of the OTA coaching staff, so that we can continue to grow as a program.
So there it is — the end of 2015, and the already-begun welcoming of 2016! Thank you to all of you for being part of our OTA family, we are looking forward to an amazing new year!!!!
The state doubles finals was quite the OTA event! Mallory Tabler and her partner from Bentonville High narrowly defeated Haeleigh Long and her Rogers High partner 6-2, 7-5. The win was the culmination of an extremely successful career for Mallory, but one that had consistently seen her come up just shy of the elusive state title. In all 3 of her previous years, she was a doubles finalist, placing second every time. Bringing home the championship was not only critical to her team’s success, but also was an excellent way to close her individual career. Oh, and Haeleigh? All she did was contribute to 3 state titles for the Mounties in her career.
Winning the doubles title also helped the Bentonville girls win the team title. Kruti Shah qualified in singles for the Tigers, making the quarterfinals to give her squad some much-needed help in the points department. Fantastic job for all the girls!
And finally, in a busy week for OTA, Robert Terry (pictured above in the red with LITTLE brother Doug) was announced as the recipient of the Jay Freeman Award, presented by the Arkansas Tennis Association to the most improved boy in the state. It comes as no surprise to his coaches, who have watched him develop into a solid player, and a great teammate, and a true OTA leader. Congratulations, Robert, you deserve it!