Not even being doused by a bucket of ice water could ruin MikelAnna Hill’s day. In fact, it may have made it even better.
The Columbus High School girls tennis coach was pursued and poured upon by some of her girls after the Lady Blue Devils won their first championship Saturday. The ones who didn’t get to dump the big bucket were content with dousing her with individual bottles of water.
And Hill didn’t complain for a minute.
Columbus whipped Kell 3-0 to win the Class 5A championship at Clayton County International Park. The happy aftermath was much different than their appearance in 2014, when they were swept by Marist in the final.
You’ve got to have that special little element to be able to be winners.
MikelAnna Hill, Columbus coach
Hill wasn’t sure what to expect when they took the court.
“We had never played them, so I had no idea,” she said. “The semifinal match (a 3-2 win over Cambridge) was supposed to be the hardest match we’d played. But we couldn’t underestimate these guys and our girls played great today.”
Columbus started by getting a win at No. 1 singles, where freshman Mary Weston Courville beat Samantha Dearing 6-2, 6-2.
“I was nervous at the beginning, but once it started, not really,” Courville said.
The No. 1 doubles team of Madelyn Boren and Abby Courville beat Katie Tarbell and Kysia Katsourtas 6-2, 6-3.
The No. 2 doubles team of Nicole Gordon and Elizabeth Streelmon scored a 6-3, 6-3 win over Madison Stephens and Caroline Sarris to end the match.
The other two singles matches were either not finished or not played. Maddison Abell was trailing 2-6, 3-3 at No. 2 singles, while Caroline Boren’s match at No. 3 never got underway.
It was especially emotional for Hill to see Boren and Courville win. The seniors, the only two on the roster, played as freshmen on Hill’s first team.
“That is special for me because we started together,” she said. “So we’ve kind of done this together.”
Columbus entered the season with high expectations and Hill didn’t back away from the big dreams.
“I knew we had a lot of talent, but I knew we’d have to figure out the best way for that talent to produce wins,” she said. “You’ve got to create that camaraderie. You’ve got to have that special little element to be able to be winners. These girls came together and continue to amaze us with the amount of tennis they have been able to play and the level they raised our team to.”
The Blue Devils finished the season with a perfect 25-0 record.
“It was really fun as a freshman to win the state championship,” Mary Weston Courville said. “And since my sister (Abby) is a senior, it means a lot to her, too.”