Strong Effort For Scarlett Stephens Of WHS At State Tennis Tourney

Scarlett Stephens of WHS at the state tennis championships. Photo by Kelly Johnson

At this year’s Florida High School Athletic Association Class 4A state tennis tournament, one of the 16 competitors in the girls singles division was Wellington High School sophomore Scarlett Stephens. She competed in the two-day event held April 26-27 at Sanlando Park near Orlando. To become the state champion, Stephens needed to win four singles matches during the two-day event.

In Stephens’ first match on April 26, she played Sunshine Reitz, a senior from Viera High School. In this match, which lasted 65 minutes, Stephens won in straight sets (6-0, 6-2). For the most part, Stephens dominated Reitz in every statistical category. Of the 14 games played, Stephens won the opening point on 12 occasions. In the first set, she won 25 out of the 30 points contested. While serving, she had no double faults.

“I tried to stay consistent and let my opponent make the mistakes,” Stephens said.

After a two-hour break, she played a quarterfinal match against Alyssa Novoa, a junior from Apopka High School. While Novoa defeated Stephens in straight sets (6-2, 6-4), it was a closely contested match.

Throughout the match, Stephens had a number of highs and lows, which included 18 winners, 14 unforced errors, seven missed returns, just two double faults and one ace. At one point in the second set, she led 3-2 in games, but was unable to maintain that lead.

“Alyssa was more aggressive, and I had to be more aggressive, too,” Stephens said. “She was the No. 1 seed in the tournament. I was pleased with my performance, and I am very grateful for the entire experience.”

“It was a great match,” agreed her father Luke Stephens, who was in attendance. “Scarlett kept fighting, and the match drew praise from several other coaches from around the state.”

Novoa went on to win her next two matches and claimed the Class 4A state title in girls singles tennis.

Stephens earned a spot in the FHSAA Class 4A tournament when she won the local district title on April 11, defeating Jupiter High School’s Gabriella Michels in straight sets (6-3, 6-3).