By Kyle LoJacono
Huntingdon College freshman and Wiregrass Ranch High graduate Hannah Still was recently selected to the Great South Athletic Conference (GSAC) first-team all-conference.
Still, who started playing tennis at age 7, went 14-5 in singles play at the No. 3 spot including winning her first match 6-3, 6-1 against Mississippi College’s Emily Upchurch.
“I was really excited, and I wasn’t expecting to make it,” Still said. “It’s a really big accomplishment to make all-conference as a freshman.”
Still made the All-Sunshine State Conference team four times while in high school, but she had to take her game to another level to compete with the Division III program in Alabama.
“We’d have morning workouts before classes, and then we’d have practice in the afternoon as well,” Still said. “It was a lot more tennis than I’ve ever played before.”
Still also returned to running cross country with the Hawks, a sport she did as a freshman and sophomore at Wiregrass Ranch.
“I’m an athletic training major, so it was a lot of work to juggle cross country, tennis and school all at once,” Still said. “It was definitely an experience because it was different, but really good for me to go through. It was wonderful to have that opportunity.”
Huntingdon coach Ximena Moore is very pleased with her young pupil.
“As a freshman, Hannah added so much talent and determination to the team,” Moore said. “She has an amazing desire to not give up and always fight to the end no matter what the score is. She will bring that determination to the team for the next three years. She is a key player for the next three years in singles and doubles. She is expected to step up her game especially at the net for doubles.”
The Hawks went 16-5 last season, including 8-2 in conference play. The Hawks came up one win short of a GSAC championship, falling 5-2 to Agnes Scott College in the final. Moore predicts the team will be able to take another step as players like Still progress.
“She now knows what to expect at the end of the season for the conference tournament,” Moore said. “She knows how hard it is to win a championship, and there is no doubt in my mind that she wants to help the team to win a championship while she is at Huntingdon College.”
Still also wants to maintain her streak of all-conference selections.
“I really hope to get first-team all-conference the rest of my years at Huntingdon,” Still said. “That’s something I think I can go for. … I feel more encouraged to keep up my tennis level this summer and increase my skill.”
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