All-Metro Girls Tennis Players of the Year: Montgomery Academy's Hollan Smith and Mary Elizabeth Massey
by Josh Moon Montgomery Advertiser Click here for link to original story
HOLLAN SMITH, JUNIOR
9-5 at No. 1 singles; 9-2 at No. 1 doubles
• Section champion at No. 1 singles and doubles, giving her seven consecutive district titles in both
• State semifinalist in No. 1 singles
• Didn’t lose to a local player in either singles or doubles
• Third consecutive selection asAdvertiserAll-Metro Player of the Year.
Was it a satisfying season?
“It was frustrating for me, but it was still a very good year because we won the state title as a team. That makes up for a lot. I really wanted to win the No. 1 singles title, and to come up short on that was very disappointing. I was really frustrated about it and felt like I really let so many people down by not winning it. So, I’ll say it was a good year but it wasn’t my best. I could have done better personally.”
Is playing No. 1 sometimes hard to take, even though the team is winning?
“It’s incredibly frustrating at times. I know I wasn’t where I needed to be at times this year. I put in the effort and work, but when you’re not winning it can be tough. Because I think people expect you to win when you’re in the No. 1 position. They expect you to perform. I expect that out of myself, and I don’t think I lived up to that this year. I put a lot of pressure on myself to be the best and to set an example for the other players on the team to follow. I think I over-pressure myself at times. That might have been part of my problem.”
“I’m thinking about playing in college. I haven’t decided yet. I’d say there’s a 50-percent chance that I will. I’ve had colleges calling me. Birmingham Southern has been interested since I was a sophomore. I’m going to visit there and Samford and College of Charleston. I’m just on the fence about playing in college. I plan to look at everything and make a decision by the end of the summer.”
MARY ELIZABETH MASSEY, JUNIOR
12-3 at No. 2 singles, 9-2 at No. 1 doubles
• 2012 section champion in singles and doubles, giving her eight sectional titles
• 2012 state champion at No. 2 singles position, helping MA win the Class 1A-3A state title as a team; now has seven career state titles in singles and doubles.
Was the 2012 season what you expected?
“It was pretty much. We didn’t lose a lot of players off the team (from 2011), so we were supposed to be pretty good again. I think we lived up to that. You can look at our team and see that it’s getting better and better at most positions. Personally, I think I have gotten better. Playing with (Hollan Smith) makes me play better. She really pushes you, and when you’re out there, you want to play up to her level.”
Best match of the year?
“Me and Hollan against Vestavia Hills. Those were two amazing girls for Vestavia. Their No. 2 beat me easy in singles, but me and Hollan together were able to beat them at the No. 1 doubles. It was great. I think it shows how well we work together that we were able to beat a team that good.”
Looking at the future.
“Obviously, we’d love to win state again. And really, I’d like to help the younger girls improve so they’re ready to keep it going after next year. We’re going to lose our top three or four players over the next two years. We have a lot of really talented young girls, though, and I’d like to help them continue this on. But winning state next year – at singles and doubles – is the big goal.”