By Andrew Glover
PERRY, Okla. —
When Jeff Sullins first started working with Perry in 1999, it hadn’t had a girls tennis team since the 1980s. It’s safe to say the program has gone through quite a transformation the last 12 years.
“We went from winning just a few matches to winning almost all of them,” Sullins said. “The last six years we’ve finished in the top five of the state.”
Last season, the Lady Maroons won the Class 4A regional championship and finished as state runners-up.
“(The season) went really well,” Sullins said. “We lost to Metro Christian, Ada, Deer Creek. Other than that we were not beaten by a team in a tournament. Overall we had a good season and good senior leaders on the team.”
The Lady Maroons had three seniors — Emily Brown, Madison Malget and Lauryn Sullins. Perry had two juniors and seven sophomores. Sullins said this was the most experienced team he has coached.
“Lauryn Sullins and Emily Brown entered the season as three-time placers at state,” Sullins said. “We’re very experience and that had a lot to do with our success.”
Lauryn Sullins was the top seed in No. 1 singles and won her first 30 matches of the season before falling in the state singles championship. Sullins will continue her career at Cowley College. Coach Sullins said she’s been a great player and will miss her.
“She’s easily the best player that I’ve coached,” Sullins said. “She is blessed with a lot of athletic ability. It was bittersweet having her last match in the state championship. We spent a lot of time together over the years. She followed me on the tennis courts since I started coaching. It’s going to be a little bit different next year without her there.”
Brown played doubles with Kayla Woods and finished fourth. Sophomore Marrissa Wright finished third in No. 2 singles, winning two of her matches in three sets. Ashlea Calhoon and Amber Isaac finished fourth in No. 2 doubles.