Brinlee captures championship in first tennis tournament
May 24, 2010 at 12:01 AMMay 24, 2010 at 8:54 PM
Haylee Brinlee is accustomed to going on the road to play in tournaments as she is a member of the LA Starz 10U travel softball team.
But on Mother's Day weekend, the 10-year-old went on the road to compete in her first-ever tennis tournament.
And wouldn't you know it, she came away as the champion.
Competing in a United States Tennis Association level 4 tournament, Brinlee defeated the top two seeds in the tournament en route to winning the Girls 10 Singles title at the Pelican State Junior Championships.
"I am so proud of her," Randy Stephens, Brinlee's coach said. "She played with an incredible amount of poise and was also very focused. She handled herself so well on the court and her competitive instincts just kicked in."
Brinlee, who participates in Stephens' Leesville Junior Tennis Program, opened the tournament with a first-round victory over Emelie Cehajic of Shreveport, coming away with a 6-3, 7-5 win.
The competition got much tougher in the quarterfinals of the event as Brinlee had to face second-seeded Anne Deupree, also of Shreveport.
Brinlee had little trouble with Deupree in picking up a 6-4, 6-0 victory, advancing to the semifinals and a matchup against Emilye Grace Williams of Anchorage, Alaska.
Again, Brinlee delivered the goods in earning a spot in the finals with a 6-4, 6-3 triumph.
In the finals, Brinlee took on top-seeded Jimmie David of Pineville. After dropping the first set, Brinlee rallied to take the second and third sets, winning the championship in the process, 2-6, 6-4, 6-2.
"Haylee was able to compete with and defeat more established players who had considerably more on-court and tournament experience," Stephens said of Brinlee. "Her performance was a pretty amazing feat for a young player competing in her first tournament."
According to Stephens, he expects Brinlee to continue progressing as she continues to work on her game.
"She is only going to get better and better as we fine tune her game," Stephens said.