Game, Set, Match for Braden Ward


What year are you?

I am a sophomore this year.

When did you start to play tennis?

I started playing tennis just as something to fill time when I was around ten years old and slowly began to enjoy it more as I was able to play more competitively.

Where in the lineup do you usually play?

I played the number one singles spot consistently last year.

What are some of your strengths and weaknesses on the court?

My speed helps me get to balls on the court easily and I’m normally able to use my height to get free points off of my serve. However, my mind often wanders while I’m on the court and I lose some of my focus.

What do you enjoy about tennis?

I have always liked the challenges, both mentally and physically, that the sport brings. It is also interesting how I often find myself competing with my own mind on the court more than anything else.

How did the team do last year?

Last year, the team had some great wins along with some brutal losses, but we always stayed positive, and, after an ugly conference tournament, we were able to pull out of a very difficult sectional with a top-five finish.

How do you think the team will do this year? 

This year’s team should be as strong as we were last year, despite the losses of key players such as Michael Richter and Ryan Goralski.

Do you think you have a shot at going to state again this year?

I believe that I definitely have a chance to qualify for state again this year, but nothing can be taken for granted, especially in one of the top sectionals in the state. It will definitely be a fight and I’ll just need to play some of my best tennis in the big matches.

How did it feel to be a freshman and qualify for state?

It was obviously a good feeling to make it out of our sectional, but I knew that it was also important to play well at state, which I was unable to do. Hopefully my experience will help me do some damage the next three years.

Who else on the team do you think are key players?

We have many strong players on the team, such as Isak Massman, Ozan Emsun and Dustin Holsinger, as well as many others like Jason Mrkonich and Cameron Corey, who have great athletic ability and should be able to show rapid improvement over the rest of their high school careers. Although it hurt greatly to lose key players and leaders last year, I believe that we have people who are ready to fill the gaps in the seasons to come.