The Oconee County High School tennis teams are undefeated three games into the season, and Brinley Bartlett wants to keep it that way.
The freshman plays one singles for the Warriors varsity girls team and is also undefeated to start the year.
Bartlett won 6-0, 6-0 against both Jackson County and Morgan County. She won her second match of the season 6-4, 6-0 over Loganville the Monday after returning from a weekend volleyball tournament in Tennessee.
“In volleyball, you play for the team, so you're not really focused on yourself,” Bartlett said. “You focus on how to make the team better, but in tennis, I come here and focus on making myself better.”
Bartlett said that her second set against Loganville was easier because she figured out her opponents’ strategy.
From there, Bartlett took control.
Bartlett and her twin sister Bailey started playing tennis together at the age of 7. Bailey eventually stopped competing in tennis, but they both play for the Oconee County High School volleyball team.
After winning last year’s Region 8-AAA championship, both freshmen received all-region honors. Brinley was named to the first team and Bailey was named all-region second team.
Although Brinley has played more volleyball than tennis recently, she brings the same competitive energy.
She says she enjoys the fact that tennis is an individual sport on the court, but she has a team behind her.
“I just want to play hard and play our best in every match and not give up,” Bartlett said. “Even if the opponent’s better, I still want to fight hard.”
Bartlett played one singles for the Oconee JV team as an eighth grader, and she has stepped up to handle the task at the next level, too.
“It’s a tough transition and, so far, she’s made it look easy,” Oconee County High School head tennis coach Derek Hon said. “That’s indicative of her competitiveness and her skills. She plays up, so whoever her opponent is doesn’t really matter. Sometimes, it’s easy for players to get over matched, and, so far, that hasn’t happened to her.”