All-County Girls Tennis: CA star Harrelson rises to top

Tatiana Harrelson’s path into tennis was a predictable one, but the level of success she has achieved in the sport is the product of her own hard work and dedication.

The Christian Academy of Myrtle Beach senior recently completed another undefeated season. She hasn’t lost a regular-season match since her freshman year as the Lady Saints’ No. 1 singles player, a position the child prodigy has held since the sixth grade.

“I grew up with a tennis court literally in my back yard,” said Harrelson, who was named the My Horry News All-County Girls Tennis Player of the Year after a remarkable high school career.

“I started playing around (age) 5. Both of my parents both play tennis, and my mom played in college. I tried other sports when I was younger, but I’ve always liked tennis best and focused on it.”

Focus is a fitting description of Harrelson’s mind set and unwavering work ethic. Traveling to junior tournaments and training year-round at least three hours day since age 11, Harrelson has put in the time to become one of the state’s top players.

Harrelson says playing high school tennis has been a blessing compared to the grind of the junior circuit. The camaraderie and friendships forged on the court are something she plans to take with her to the next level.

“It was a great final year, but I’m sad that it’s all over,” said Harrelson, who posted a true senior season sweep by winning every set and match 6-0, 6-0. “I’ve been playing for the team since fifth grade and I love high school tennis. It’s way different (from juniors) when I’m traveling and playing all by myself. High school makes it seem more like a team sport. That’s why I’m excited to play in college.”

Harrelson has visited Radford (Va.) University in Virginia and is planning trips to the University of Tampa (Fla.) and the University of the South (Sewanee, Tenn.) to prepare for a profession in medicine. Wherever she lands, she plans to make tennis a lifelong endeavor.

But first she has an opportunity to close out her high school career in the spring with a SCISA state individual title, one of the few accolades to escape her during her time at Christian Academy. It would be the perfect ending to a near-perfect high school career.

Harrelson is joined on the all-county first team by a pair of SCHSL individual state qualifiers – Carrington Callihan (Myrtle Beach) and Dyan Caulder (Green Sea Floyds). Charlotte Eaddy (Loris), Raleigh Keenan (Carolina Forest), Eliska Vilitova (St. James) and Cassidy Cocca (Socastee) round out the first team.

GIRLS TENNIS
* Tatiana Harrelson, CAMB, Player of the Year
* Carrington Callihan, Myrtle Beach
* Dyan Caulder, Green Sea Floyds
* Charlotte Eaddy, Loris
* Raleigh Keenan, Carolina Forest
* Eliska Vilitova, St. James
* Cassidy Cocca, Socastee
Honorable Mention
* Rilee Rabon, Aynor
* Sarah Woodard, Myrtle Beach
* Cassidy Friend, Myrtle Beach
* Brantlee Gerald, Loris
* Brooke Rogers, Socastee
* Savannah Stevens, Conway
* Lorena Beltran, North Myrtle Beach

Photo courtesy of CAMB Athletics

 

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