Bath Girls Tennis Team Takes Competition All The Way To State Level
Warm Springs, VA – This year marks a first for tennis at Bath County High School. The doubles team of Amelia Walters and Jennifer Gutting are Region C champions and State Group A runners up. Amelia Walters:
“I am pretty amazed with us” says Walters. “It feels great to have gone that far. I never even thought about states, I was just focused on each game we played. Each time we won, I was really excited but I didn’t have really high expectations for us and then every time we won it was great because I was just elated.”
Walters is also the Region C runner up in singles. She has been playing tennis with her father since she was a young girl and she joined the Bath County High School tennis team in her sophomore year.
“Tennis has taught me to be patient and to not get angry at myself for every mistake I make because it’ll just build up and it can ruin your entire match if you keep getting angry” she says.
Walters graduated this year and is heading to James Madison University in the fall. She hopes to study in an arts design program there. And now that she’s wrapped up her Bath County High School tennis career on a high note, what did she enjoy most about this year?
“Probably the team and the coach” she says. “We had some pretty humorous moments and it was just enjoyable. We all just had a good time together.”
This year is the first time any tennis player from Bath County High School has made it beyond regional play. Mike Bollinger was the head coach for the team this year.
“I just hope they realize what they accomplished” says Bollinger. “And Amelia knows this because she’s been in volleyball. The state tournament is a huge deal, and it’s especiall a big deal because they’re the first ones to ever do it. And I hope the two of them realize what they have done and hopefully they have set a standard some of our current and future players will try to meet.”
Bollinger has a total of 15 years coaching experience in tennis. But this was the first time he’d been the head coach for a girls team.
“The other thing I wanted to add about Amelia is, male or female, she’s the best athlete I’ve ever coached” he says. “And it’s the truth; she’s fast, she’s quick off the mark, she’s got great hand-eye coordination. Her nerves, as a general rule, don’t get to her. There’s no question in my mind that she’s by far, the best athlete I’ve ever coached.”
Bollinger says the tennis team worked hard this year and kept improving throughout the season. He said he couldn’t have asked them to do any more than they did.
“I’m proud of them” he says. “I’ve never been to state before in all those years; I’m happy they drug me along and took me there.”